Two 11-year-old boys at a summer camp on Maryland's Eastern Shore were struck by lightning yesterday and seriously injured. One was resuscitated by teenage camp counselors, authorities said.
The boys were struck about 5 p.m. at Camp Tockwogh, a YMCA facility in Kent County, according to a fire department official.
One boy suffered cardiac arrest, said Bud Campbell of the Betterton, Md., volunteer fire department. Counselors resuscitated the boy with a portable defibrillator, an electrical device that can restore heart function, Campbell said. The device had been purchased only recently, he added, but camp counselors had already been trained in its use.
"It was an excellent thing" that the device was available, Campbell said. The counselors who used it "were the saving grace," he added.
The boys were flown by helicopter to a hospital in Baltimore. Details of their condition could not be learned late last night, but a spokesman for the YMCA of Delaware, which operates the sleep-away camp, said early reports were encouraging.
The boys were struck while on or near an athletic field, which is near a recreation center, Campbell said.
Campbell said it was not clear how many bolts struck the boys. There was "a lot of lightning in the area" at the time, he said.
A camp official said he believed that the storm came up suddenly.
"Everyone did what they were trained to do," said Gordon Hesse, the YMCA spokesman.
The camp is at Worton, Md., on the Chesapeake Bay on the upper shore. The camp offers a series of two-week sessions that include sailing, lacrosse, water-skiing and a "teen adventure" program. The camp draws youngsters from Maryland and Delaware.