Destiny takes a hit and keeps going

Tina Harbuck
Capt. Dennis Kendrick’s shows where lighting burned out the wiring on his newly installed radio.

The folks fishing aboard the Destiny Thursday will have more than a fish tale to tell when they get back home.

The Destiny, a 72-foot sportfisherman boat, was struck by lightning just before lunch Thursday.

“It sounded like a dagum grenade was going off in here,” said Capt. Dennis Kendricks, who was in the wheelhouse when the boat took a hit.

The Destiny, loaded with about 25 passengers, had already fished two or three spots and had pulled in some king mackerel, along with mingo and white snapper.

Fishing about 20 miles offshore, captain said he saw the squal, but “I thought I had already got passed it,” he said.

As a matter of fact, he said, “I was looking to start fishing again,” when lightning struck.

Captain said the lightning hit the antenea and came through the radio, just to the left of the wheel and knocked him backwards.

“It blew me out the door. It felt like somebody hit me with a 2-by-4,” he said.

Kendricks, who’s been a captain for more than 30 years, said he’s been hit by lightning twice before, but that’s the first time he’s been knocked off his feet.

Once he got his bearings, he picked himself up and started checking the boat out, because the strike had killed the engines.

“The starboard engine wouldn’t crank,” he said.

“So we had to come back 20 miles with one engine and there was hardly no steering, that’s why it took so long,” he said.

The boat arrived at the docks a little after 1 p.m. Thursday from a six-hour trip.

After he checked everything out, he realized he had lost his radio, that was just installed a couple of days ago, he lost the bottom machine, the auto pilot and the survelance system.

But all was well, and everyone appeared OK. Some of the customers even commented they had a good time as the deckhands cleaned up their catch once back at the docks.

Some were even scheduling to go back out on the Destiny’s sister boat, the Destin Princess.