An extremely rare occurrence has led to a tragedy on a local New Jersey beach.
A lifeguard was killed and seven other people have some injuries after lightning struck near the entrance of Beach State Park yesterday (August 30) afternoon. It happened right before 5 p.m. at the 21st Avenue Beach, which is in the Berkeley Township.
Lifeguard Killed, Others Injured on New Jersey Beach
According to New Jersey News 12, the lightning strike came out of nowhere. There were no signs of an incoming storm so people had no opportunity to seek cover. The lifeguard that was tragically killed was sitting up in his lifeguard stand when it all happening. The strike’s impact caused him to be thrown from his stand.
Sadly, emergency crews could not save the 19-year-old lifeguard. His name has not yet been released to the public.
The others impacted complained about headaches or light-headedness following the lighting strike. The age of those impacted ranged from about 15 to 51. One other person also required CPR at the scene.
Governor Phil Murphy was quick to respond to the tragedy on social media. “Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today’s horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured. I’ve spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time.”
The beach is open again, however, no swimming is allowed at this time. There are no lifeguards on duty at this time. Members of the beach staff that worked with the 19-year-old are also being offered counseling following the sudden tragedy that happened yesterday.
According to the National Weather Service, the odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 15,300 chance. New Jersey had sporadic storms throughout the state for the remainder of the evening that day.
Lightning Strikes New York Beach
Meanwhile, a similar incident occurred about a week ago. Several people were struck by lightning while at a Bronx beach.
According to The New York Times, a 13-year-old boy died after the incident and six other people were also injured. The age range was from 5 years old to 41. When medical responders arrived at the scene, each person struck by the lightning was taken to a nearby hospital.
The teenager’s father, Jeffrey Ramos, mourned the loss of his teenage son and told the publication “it’s just crazy.” The boy and his twin sister had just celebrated their 13th birthday together.
Another 13-year-old girl on the beach said that she watched as the lightning struck right in front of her. She passed out, started shaking, and also had blood coming from her mouth. She said she remembers waking up inside of an ambulance.