EXCLUSIVE: Clearwater golfer survives being struck by lightning

Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 19:11:09-04

Lightning struck a retired Navy lieutenant Commander on the head and it left him temporarily deaf.

The 76-year-old shares his remarkable story of survival exclusively with ABC Action News. 

Frank Sink doesn't even remember getting struck by a bolt of lightning earlier this month at the Clearwater Country Club.

"You will have to ask someone else what happened because I have no idea," said Frank..

Doctors called it a miracle that Frank is back home.

"I woke up in the hospital bed and they said you got hit by lightning," said Frank. 

Frank's ex-wife Myra has not left his side since getting the call from Tampa General doctors back on August 18.

"He was blue," she said. "It hit him in the head and he was knocked backward."

Frank said he just got off the golf cart and was ready to start the seventh hole. It was around 11 in the morning when suddenly there was a huge crack of thunder and then a bolt of lightning. Frank said he never felt it.

"It came out his right shoe!" said Myra. "And then doctors asked me if he wore hearing aids because one of them was in his ear burned. I said no he doesn't wear hearing aids, it was earbuds."

Action News had to write all the questions on a dry erase board because Frank is now temporarily deaf.

"They said there are two holes in his eardrums," said Myra.

Frank might need surgery and doctors think he'll regain his hearing. But nothing's going to keep him away from the course.

"No reason to stop. I mean how many times do you get hit by lightning right?" said Frank.

According to the National Weather Service, over a lifetime, spanning 80 years, one in 13,500.

But Frank's used to taking risks. He's a retired Lieutenant Commander of the Navy and an aerospace engineer.

"Sometimes good stuff happens sometimes bad things happen. You just deal with it and move on," said Frank.

The bottom line, Frank said "a day without golf is day without life."

And he's serious about playing again everyday. In fact, just the other day after a doctors visit, he had Myra take him back to the course so he could hit some golf balls.

'It is my exercise, it gets you outside and keeps you from getting cabin fever,"  Frank said.