As a thunderstorm swirled, intensified and descended over the waters of Lake Superior off the end of Minnesota Point late Saturday afternoon, a sailboat with eight people aboard rushed to the relative safety of the spit's sandy shore.
As hail started to fall and the passengers were scattered on the beach in the waves and on the boat, a bolt of lightning hit the shallow water near the 26-foot vessel.
"Everyone was blown off their feet. It was like a grenade went off, and there was a blinding flash of white light," said Sgt. Wade Rasch, an investigator for the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, recounting the words of the boat's captain.