Stay alive: Lightning safety tips

My friend just told me that her colleague got struck by lightning while jogging at Pasir Ris park (in Singapore) yesterday. He passed away, leaving his aged parents.

On Valentine's day in Bintan, Indonesia, her friend's colleague got swept away by a strong wave in a split second when his spectacles fell.

I am reminded yet again that life can be so short.
(Last week, my friend passed away.)
People can be gone suddenly.

Lightning finds the quickest way to the ground by striking the tallest and sharpest object. Usually lightning would strike a lamppost or tree instead of a man. There are many trees and lampposts in the park. Maybe he was running past an open area or on the beach when lightning struck. Lightning may strike before rain starts so he may have had no warning.

Before going out to run, it would be a good idea to check the weather forecast. I would check the forecast before going rock climbing, to the beach or for long runs.
The forecast provided here is fairly accurate:
3-hour weather forecast

If you find yourself caught in a storm or pre-storm with lightning,
- do not take shelter under trees
- stay away from steel structures like lampposts
- don't hold or carry long metal objects like golf clubs and umbrellas
- stay off hill tops, stay off wide open space, move down to a valley, stay close to the ground (includes lying on the ground or crawling), try to get indoors (a tent does not count)

I find it somewhat pleasant to jog when it's drizzling but I'd rather not take the risk. Being wet with water increased the risk of getting struck by lightning (because my wet body would become a better conductor of electricity compared to a dry body). It's ok to miss a few days of exercise if I get to stay alive.

Please stay safe and alive!


Anonymous said...

When there are dark clouds in the sky or its raining, I do sometimes still go for my regular runs as long as two main conditions are met:

1) I do not see or hear any lightning or thunder perhaps within 10 to 15 clicks of where I am running. A very distant thunder and lightning doesnt bother me. (I have also swam under similar what I perceived to be non threatening situations).

2) I deliberately limit my run in the midst of a forest of trees under the shade of their overhanging branches. I keep out of the open areas. In the pool, I continue to do my laps and have the place all to myself when all others have left. lol

In the event I hear thunder and lightning nearby, I will stop my run (or swim) and take appropriate safe cover immediately.

Did I make a wrong calculated judgement on safety or danger? Am I foolish or deceiving myself it is safe?

silli cat