‘One Tree Hill’ Star Bevin Prince’s Husband William Friend Dies After Being Struck by Lightning

One Tree Hill star Bevin Prince’s 33-year-old husband William Friend has died after being struck by lightning Sunday while on a boat during a thunderstorm.

Authorities discovered Friend on a boat Masonboro Island off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina, after he had been struck by lightning during a storm, according to a report by WECT6 News.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilmington Police Department’s Marine Unit responded to the incident after civilians flagged them down during a routine patrol, the outlet added.

An emergency team also performed CPR on Friend as they were taking him to Bradley Creek Marina to meet EMS, who moved him to an ambulance, where they attempted to resuscitate him for 20 minutes. Friend was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following the tragedy, Prince’s best friend actress Odette Annable paid tribute to Friend — who married the One Tree Hill star in 2016 — in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“Will, it feels surreal writing this. Mostly because it feels like you were just getting started,” Annable wrote in the caption. “The life and love that you gave to my best friend made it feel okay that we were thousands of miles apart.”

“I keep thinking about what a gift you gave to Bevin,” she continued. “What a gift you gave to everyone who knew you to witness the passion that burned in your soul. The passion to help people, to build your business, to find happiness like I’d never seen from you living in North Carolina with Bevin.”

Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach captain Ryan Saporito — who helped other boats in the area during the storm on Sunday — told WECT6 News, “There’s really no safe place on a boat.”

John Jensenius with the National Lightning Safety Council echoed those sentiments, adding that being near the water without shelter during a storm can be life-threatening.

“Some people think that there’s some protection just based on a little bit of metal, but really there isn’t when you consider that lightning gets into the metal systems of your boat and you’re very close to those,” Jensenius said.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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