Olympic surfing hopeful, 22, dies after being struck by lightning on beach

A gorgeous olympic surfing hopeful died in a freak accident after lightning struck her while she was on the beach.

Katherine Diaz Hernandez, 22, was hit by a lightning bolt while on an El Salvador beach on Saturday March 21.

She was entering the water at El Tunco, a surf hotspot on the Pacific coast, at around 5pm, when she was struck down.

Friends and members of the public rushed to her aid and called an ambulance that raced her to hospital.

Sadly, NEWS AU reported the surfing beauty couldn’t be revived and she died in a medical facility after being attended to by doctors.

Tributes have flooded in for Katherine who have wished for "peace" for the 22-year-old's "soul."

Her brother, Bamba Diaz, said the family will always carry her "in our hearts" and added that they "already" miss her.

Mr Diaz said: "Sister we will always carry you in our hearts.

"God decided to take you now. We already miss you. Love forever."

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The president of the Salvadoran Sports Institute, Yamil Bukele, said he is "very sorry" for the death of Katherine and added the surf community is "overwhelmed" by the loss.

Mr Bukele said: "I just found out about the death of Salvadoran surfer Katherine Díaz.

"I am very sorry for this death and I join the pain that overwhelms her family. Our solidarity with ‘el Bamba’ and the surf family. Peace for your soul."

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Katherine worked as a chef in the evening and was training for a global surf competition held in El Salvador every year.

The event is the last qualifying hurdle for the Olympics, which will be held later this year.

She had recently named La Bocana at El Tunco Beach as her favourite place to surf.

The star posted pictures of her life in the waves to Instagram, and regularly showed snaps of herself surfing in different locations.

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