1 dead, 2 injured after lightning strike on Florida beach

Three people were struck by lightning on a beach in Fort Myers, Florida on Tuesday.  A 41-year-old man was killed, and two teenagers were injured, WINK-TV reported.

More people are killed by lightning in July than in any other month.  A study released by the National Weather Service shows 261 people were struck and killed by lightning in the U.S. between 2006-2013. Most of the victims were males in their twenties.

Of the top 12 activities that contribute to lightning deaths, beach activities rank in the top five. Each of the top death-related activities have some association to water. The study ranks fishing as the deadliest activity.

With fishing being a popular pastime in the Tennessee Valley, this tragedy serves as an important reminder to take the threat of lightning seriously.

A high number of people who are killed by lightning are killed while they are seeking shelter, meaning they simply waited too long to take action. It is imperative that at the first sign of bad weather, promptly move indoors and away from water.

According to witnesses, it had already started raining when the three were struck on the Florida beach. The NWS study explains that many times, people outdoors will wait to see if conditions improve before seeking shelter. This decision often times proves deadly.  Never hesitate to cancel outdoor plans if threatening weather is possible.  Always be willing to seek proper shelter and be aware of developing or approaching storms.

WHNT News 19 makes staying ahead of dangerous weather easy.  If you have our WHNT SAF-T-Net app, an update was released this week. With this app, you can get severe weather alerts for multiple locations, see ARMOR radar, and submit storm reports. You also have the option of receiving alert messages from our weather team. The app is available for Apple and Android phones and is still free.

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