ORLANDO, Fla. — The mother of a 12-year-old boy who died after his boat was struck by lightning is suing the boy’s boating club. The North Orlando Rowing Club, USRowing, and The College Park Lions Club are all listed as defendants in the suit.

What You Need To Know

  • Back in September, Langston Rodriguez-Sane was at a rowing club when the boat was struck by lightning, hurling him into the water

  • He and another boy ultimately died following the incident

  • The lawsuit alleges the rowing club did not have effective weather detection equipment, and also did not have a working defibrillator in the boathouse

On September 15, 2022, Langston Rodriguez-Sane took to the waters of Lake Fairview with his new rowing club. Attorneys with his family say the boy was brand new to rowing, and the day was his first time practicing rowing on the water.

“Before being appropriately trained and supervised, [he] was sent out on a lake where they did not have appropriate lightning detection systems,” said Andrew Yaffa, lawyer with Grossman Roth Yaffa and Cohen.

Related: Vigil held for local student killed in boating incident

Inclement weather rolled in over the lake, and lightning struck the boat. Yaffa alleges it was already raining at the time Langston was sent out on the water.

Langston, as well as another student, ultimately died following the lightning strike. According to the suit, his cause of death was drowning.

Attorneys allege there was no available coach boat nearby his boat when the incident happened. They also allege that when Langston was pulled from the water, the defibrillator was “defective or inoperable.”

“They didn’t have appropriate coaches out there on the lake to supervise and control the children during a time where there was an evolving storm,” said Yaffa.

USRowing was listed as a defendant in the suit. Attorneys representing the family say the organization makes sure the North Orlando Rowing Club complies with their guidelines and recommendations.

The College Park Lions Club is also listed, as the lawsuit states they lease the property to the North Orlando Rowing Club.

Langston (Sane family)
Langston (Sane family)

“These children were sent out at a time when they never should have been on the water, under circumstances where there were inadequate protective measures taken,” said Yaffa.

In a statement to News 13, USRowing wrote: “USRowing is heartbroken by the events that took place on September 15, 2022, on Lake Fairview, and our deepest condolences go out to the families involved in this tragedy. Out of respect for the families involved, we feel it inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The suit has been filed on behalf of Langston’s estate. Yaffa says he expects that the presiding judge will require discovery to move forward for the case, which will involve depositions and an investigative process.