The Venice Beach lightning strike injured at least 12 others, along with another person who was hit by lightning from the same storm on Catalina Island. The lightning appears to have hit the ocean just off of Venice Beach with the electrical current traveling through the water to hit swimmers and surfers in the area.
Of the 13 hit by the lightning, eight were transported to local hospitals while 5 others were assessed at the scene, but did not require hospitalization. Of the eight taken to the hospital, one remains in critical condition.
It was only two weeks ago that two people were killed by lightning at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado on two different days, with 11 others injured. There have been a total of 16 people killed by lightning so far this year according to the NOAA, the latest two at beaches. These are the first two deaths from lightning at beaches this year.
Florida has had the most lightning deaths this year with six, followed by Colorado with 2. Arkansas, California, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin have all recorded a single lightning death in 2014. Of the 16 deaths, 13 have been male while three have been female.
Lightning is not something that most of us consider as an everyday danger, and because of that many don’t know what to do to protect themselves when thunderstorms arrive. Knowing what to do when thunderstorms are in the area can save your life. Some lightning safety tips are somewhat counter intuitive, but they are important to know if you should happen to find yourself in a storm. The number one rule to remember is if you can hear thunder, then you are in danger of being hit by lightning and should immediately seek shelter.