TWO people were killed by a deadly lightning strike while jet-skiing in southern Puerto Rico on Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
Police said the bolt hit a 36-year-old man who was driving the vehicle before making contact with a 26-year-old woman who was a passenger of another nearby.
The driver of the second jet ski was not injured.
The man died immediately after the blow, while the woman succumbed to the devastating blow as she was being brought ashore.
The tragedy brings the death toll from lightning in the United States and its territories to 17 this year, according to John Jensenius of the National Lightning Safety Council.
It’s also the first fatality in Puerto Rico since 2017 and only the fifth since 2006, FOX Weather reported.
The fatalities are the 20th and 21st boating-related fatalities since 2006. Eight of those fatalities involved jet skis.
Jensenius emphasized how important it is to take storms on the water seriously.
“When you’re outside, you’re vulnerable to a possible lightning strike,” Jensenius told FOX Weather.
He said people wait “far too long” before finding protection from lightning.
Jensenius urged people to heed a memorable piece of advice: “When the thunder is raging, go indoors!”
“This simple message can save many lives,” he told FOX Weather.
“Chances are you are within striking distance of the storm when you hear thunder, even a rumble in the distance.
“Many people don’t understand that during a thunderstorm, lightning can strike more than 10 miles from the rainy area, and that even a distant rumble of thunder should serve as an immediate warning to get inside.”
The tragic deaths come amidst Tropical Storm Earl, which is expected to turn into a hurricane as it devastates the Northeast.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6164529/two-killed-by-lightning-strike-puerto-rico/ Two people killed by fatal jet-ski lightning strike as US death toll rises to 17 this year