Teen struck by lightning while recording video of storm on Jersey Shore

Darla Miles Image
Thursday, July 28, 2016
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Darla Miles has the latest details.

BRADLEY BEACH, NJ -- Lightning on the Jersey Shore came a little too close for comfort for one teenager.

He was recording the storm over Bradley Beach when he felt a bolt strike the ground near him.

"I just wanted to get like a cool lightning shot over the ocean and I got it a lot closer to me than I wanted," said Ethan Riozzi-Bodine, a lightning strike victim.

Clearly, this is more than what 16-year-old Ethan wanted, as he hoped to shoot a simple picturesque bolt of lightning over the ocean.

"You can actually hear me get electrocuted in the video; I'm like 'argh!'" Ethan said.

It's a little laughable now, but it wasn't at the time. The teenage lifeguard had to take shelter during his bike ride home when a storm passed through after 6 p.m. Monday, and a broken chain left him stranded at a bathroom pavilion on the Bradley Beach boardwalk.

"Now that's it's over I can say that it was cool, but during the whole process of it happening it was not cool at all," Ethan said.

There were actually two bolts of lightning. The first one was already way too close and Ethan wanted to get out of there, but before he could leave, another one hit about five to ten feet away.

"The whole ground just vibrated and it went up through my feet, up through my body, through my chest, and out through my arms," Ethan said.

As close and as powerful as that strike appeared to be, it didn't even leave a mark on the ground.

"When I saw the video, I said, 'OK, we need to get him to the ER,'" said Elaine Riozzi-Bodine, Ethan's mother.

Ethan walked away from the ER and the whole ordeal without a scratch or burn.

"They say if I wasn't holding onto my bike I wouldn't be here right now, because my bike kind of grounded me because of the rubber tires and the rubber grips. So if I wasn't holding onto my bike, I wouldn't be here right now talking to you," Ethan said.