Tuesday, August 2, 2011

08.02.11 Sandy Hook's a bad place to be when lightnings around

From the Star-Ledger,  

Passaic man struck by lightning in Sandy Hook is in serious condition

MIDDLETOWN — A 32-year-old Passaic man was revived after being struck by lightning on a Sandy Hook beach in a brief but fierce thunderstorm Monday evening.
The man, who was not identified, had come ashore from an ocean swim when he was hit just before 6 p.m., said John Warren, spokesman at Gateway National Recreation Area.
He had no pulse when reached by relatives, who tried CPR, but it did not revive him, Warren said.
Firefighters, park rangers and emergency personnel used a defibrillator and revived him, Warren said. He was taken to Monmouth Medical Center and had been listed in serious condition, Warren said. He remained in intensive care this afternoon, but his condition was not available.
The area where the man was struck, South Beach’s Area B on the peninsula’s southern end, does not have lifeguards, a park official said.
Although park staff monitor the National Weather Service for storm warnings and clear beaches as necessary, no such alerts came through for that part of the state this evening, Warren said.
The storm began shortly before 5:45 p.m. and may have been caused by a weak cold front, said Valerie Meola of the weather service. It escalated quickly, with nine reported lightning strikes in the five minutes before 5:45 p.m., and 22 strikes in the minutes leading to 6 p.m., she said.
Twelve people have been killed by lighting in New Jersey since 2001, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the weather service. including an Elizabeth man who was killed by lightning on the same beach in July 2008.
Last month, a 54-year-old Hammonton man was struck and killed at a family picnic in that town, according to the weather service.
The NWS estimates about 400 people are hurt by lightning each year in the United States.