BREWTON, Ala. (WHNT) — A South Alabama man was killed after authorities say he was struck by lightning over the course of the weekend.
According to AL.com, Gregg Shipp died on Saturday, July 9, after he was hit by a lightning bolt. The thunderstorm developed as Shipp was floating down Burnt Corn Creek near O’Bannon Park with a group of four adults and a child.
The Brewton Fire Department arrived on the scene and found Shipp unresponsive on a sandbar.
Emergency crews told The Brewton Standard that CPR had already been started, but Shipp was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shipp makes the sixth lightning-strike death in the U.S. this year, according to the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC), though they say all of those incidents happened since June 22.
In 2021, there were 11 lightning-related deaths.
The NLSC says the best thing you can do in a thunderstorm is go indoors or into a vehicle. If that’s not possible, they say following these tips will help you stay safe during severe weather:
- Avoid open fields or hilltops and ridges
- If you’re in a group, spread out to prevent the current from traveling between people
- Stay away from tall, isolated trees or tall objects. If you’re in the forest, stay near a lower group of trees
- If you’re camping in an open area, set up shelter in a lower area, like a ravine or valley.
- Always avoid water, wet items and metal objects.
For more information on what to do when lightning is a threat in your area, visit the NLSC website here.