Who and Where are People Killed by Lightning?
The National Weather Service has analyzed the data of people killed by lightning between 2006 and 2013. Though being killed by lightning is still a very, very rare occurrence, it happens every single year. I want to summarize some of the findings of the report. Some of these death statistics might surprise you:
- 261 people were killed by lightning between 2006 and 2013
- Two-thirds of those deaths were to people enjoying outdoor leisure activities
- Fisherman accounted for 3 times more deaths than golfers
- 30 fishing deaths, 16 camping deaths, 14 boating deaths, and 13 beach deaths
- For sports, 12 died playing soccer, 8 died playing golf
- Males accounted for 81% of all fatalities, and more than 90% of those deaths were in the fishing and sports categories.
- Females had comparatively fewer deaths than men in every category, with their highest percentages in the boating-related activities (35%) and routine daily/weekly activities (36%).
- 70% of the lightning deaths occurred in the months of June, July, and August, with Saturdays and Sundays having slightly more deaths than other days of the week.
- Ages of the victims varied from young children to older adults with the greatest number of fatalities between the ages of 10 and 60.
Finally, and most disturbingly, many victims were either headed to safety at the time of the fatal strike or were just steps away from safety. So if your a male fishing near a thunderstorm in July, please remember these statistics and seek cover BEFORE you're in jeopardy.