"He was standing here and the lightning just hit him, 'Pop!'" said Robert Santiago. "You see all the sparks, the [electricity] coming through him, and he fell straight back and he slipped into the water."
Santiago went to pull his brother-in-law out of a canal after he was knocked off his feet.
It happened after a Fourth of July barbeque in Sunrise, Florida.
The two men were standing outside under a large tree when the bolt struck.
"He started breathing a little more and trying to talk. He was mumbling and he couldn't feel his legs," said Santiago.
The man who was struck by lightning is described by his family as Michael Hindle.
Hindle was rushed to Broward Medical Center conscious and alert, but no doubt shaken up by the Fourth of July scare.