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Study: More Lightning Deaths from Fishing Than Golf

Expert: 'When people think of lightning deaths, they usually think of golf'
Related: Lightning

June 24, 2013
Fishing Leads U.S. Lightning Death Activities
NOAA's National Weather Service kicked off this year's National Lightning Safety week with the release of a new study on lighting deaths in the U.S. From 2006 through 2012, 238 people were struck and killed by lightning, with two thirds of the fatalities occurring during leisure activities. Fishing tops the list of activities, accounting for 26 deaths -- more than three times as many as golfing.

Lightning FatalitiesMost people killed during leisure activities were participating in water-related pastimes, including fishing, boating, swimming and simply spending time by a lake or on the beach. Sports contributed to 19 percent of the fatalities during leisure activities, with 12 people killed while playing soccer and eight while golfing.

"When people think of lightning deaths, they usually think of golf,"said John Jensenius, the NWS lightning safety specialist who conducted the study. "NOAA has made a concerted effort to raise lightning awareness in the golf community since we began the campaign in 2001, and we believe our outreach has made a huge difference since lightning-related deaths on golf courses have decreased by 75 percent."

RELATED ON SKYE: Man Recounts Being Struck by Lightning

Lightning FatalitiesAccording to Jensenius, water-related deaths may be more common because participants require more time to find shelter in a storm. "People often wait far too long to head to safety when a storm is approaching, and that puts them in a dangerous and potentially deadly situation," he said.

During the seven-year study, 82 percent of those killed by lightning were male and most victims were between the ages of 10 and 60. About 70 percent of the deaths occurred during June, July and August.

So far this year, seven people have been killed by lightning. Three of them were killed while fishing and a fourth was walking on the beach.

RELATED ON SKYE: 11 Surprising Effects of Being Struck by Lightning
Lightning Scar


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Didn't see any stats of what your chances of getting struck are BUT if you do get struck I'm thinking your chances of hitting the lotto have just gone up

June 25 2013 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This study is wrong.

June 25 2013 at 7:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to raptureready1958's comment

How so?

June 25 2013 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
crazy ray

I don't believe there is any useful or unusual information in this article. Unless you can't read (which makes the article more useless than it already is), don't have a computer, never watch television and live in a cave, that is.

June 25 2013 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"According to an expert, most people think lightning strikes while the victims are playing golf, but a new study disproves that notion." This is one of the stupidest articles and headlines I have ever seen. The headline is absurd. It is saying that most people believe that you get struck by lightening only when playing golf, but a new study shows it sometimes happens when you aren't playing golf. How ridiculous!

Then the article quotes the expert as saying, " 'When people think of lightning deaths, they usually think of golf' which is saying that there is an association between lightning death and people playing golf. This is not saying anything concrete or statistical. It is just saying there is a psychological connection.

You can get struck by lighting anytime you are outside, assuming the weather is conducive to lightning occurring. What portion of the time does it occur when you are playing golf? Who knows? What porportion when golfing? Who knows? Which is more often? If you want people's opinion, then ask them, "Who is more likely to be struck by lighting, someone playing golf or someone fisshing?" The "expert" says "most people think of golf." Why doesn't he just ask them which they think is more often? Why not have a headline that makes logical sense? Why not have intelligent people write these articles?

The author and "expert" are having a very hard time explaining what the statistics mean and how they should be a surprise to us. Maybe that's the problem. He wants the article to be "surprising" so he tries to say it is contrary to common belief, but he has no statistics on common beliefs so he says an "expert" knows what people believe. How does one become an expert on what people think about lightening? LOL

June 25 2013 at 5:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I once had an Uncle ( with driver's license revoked ) staggering home, the bars had closed. When he got struck by lightening. He got the fear of God in him then ! He quit drinking for almost three days !

June 25 2013 at 12:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

buglebob, I guess you give a rats arse. You bothered to comment now didn't you?

June 25 2013 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Damn, I gather stuff all the time outside, I have an 8% chance of getting hit
by lightning. I wished ben Franklin never invented lightning.

June 25 2013 at 11:04 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

"Studies" are a total waste of time. They prove nothing. Ask some people and if their answers suit the 'study' run with them. If they don't just discard them and move on. I have never heard of anyone who died, due to a lightning strike, while golfing or fishing. The people I know about were merely walking in their yards or else sitting on the ground in a park.

June 25 2013 at 10:58 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

I am very afraid of lightning when I was in cub scouts at camp in the local mountains a bolt of lightning struck a tree right outside the bunkhouse I will never forget the power of this lightning bolt and the tremendous blast the bark on the large pine tree was blown off in a long strip where it struck. I have been terrified of lightning ever sense. Now when ever I see a thunderstorm coming I try to seek cover as soon as possible.

June 25 2013 at 10:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sir, Mark, Sir

When I was 14 I was struck by lighting while mowing the lawn living in Kansas . it started to sprinkle a little bit and I got an umbrella to finish the last few swipes left . Out of nowhere it hit my umbrella right down my right arm , the side of my body and out my sneaker. Lucky I was wearing rubber soled shoes that seemed to have grounded me .. I only got shook up and my toe nails on my right foot got darker in color for a few months ..

June 25 2013 at 9:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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