BOSTON (CBS) — A 24-year-old Duxbury man struck and killed by lightning while camping on an Australian mountain has been identified as Sam Beattie.
Australian media reported Beattie and his girlfriend were in Australia on a trip and had camped out on Mount Warning in the eastern part of the country.
A severe thunderstorm, complete with vivid lightning, caught the couple on the mountain early in the morning.
“Lightning struck the tree, went through the tree. It appears it touched the mile seat in the tent and sadly, it killed him,” New South Wales Police Captain Wayne Starling told reporters afterwards.
Camping on the mountain is prohibited, due to the probability of lightning strikes. But locals say it’s not uncommon for tourists to be unaware of that rule.
“It’s just a tragedy. Regardless of whether they should be there or not, it’s a tragedy to lose a life,” Capt. Starling added.
Two hikers discovered the couple and performed C.P.R. for nearly an hour. However, Beattie could not be saved.
“They were hiking up to enjoy the sunrise. Of course, the weather delayed that and on the way back down they were assisted,” Emergency Services Chaplain Paul Van Bratt said.
Beattie’s 23-year-old girlfriend, who has not been identified, also suffered injuries to her head and neck. But she was treated at a local hospital and released.
“An adventure and this to happen. It’s sad, really really sad,” an Australian woman visiting the mountain area said.
According to the principal, Beattie graduated in 2010 from Duxbury High School.
He was a 4-year lacrosse player who also played guitar in the school’s orchestra.
Laura Raposa, who works at a Duxbury bakery, said Beattie’s girlfriend is well-respected member of the community.
“She never says a bad word about anyone. She is just a real church-going woman and a woman of faith. You think ‘Why do these things happen to such wonderful, great people?’” said Raposa.
Beattie’s father happened to be in Australia on business and had planned to meet up with the couple just a few days ago.