Photo by Dave Morgan from Pexels
A nightmare became a tragic reality: a golfer died on the field after being struck by lightning. It happened at the Burlington Country Golf Club, in Westampton, in the US state of New Jersey.
The victim is called Michael Ward, he was 70 years old and lived in the city of Florence.
The amateur player was moving from hole 6 to hole 7 but didn’t make it. A sudden storm poured rain but mostly lightning on the fairway. Ward, evidently caught off guard, tried to take cover under the first one roof available, that is a big tree. The choice was dictated by fear and unfortunately it turned out to be wrong. Westampton Police Lieutenant Brian Ferguson spoke of a “bark wiped out from lightning “.
The fatal accident, according to media reports, occurred a quarter of an hour after the alert issued by the Mount Holly National Weather Service, which is no more than two miles from Burlington GC.
Lightning bolt and golf game
According to insiders, Ward’s could be the first death in the United States due to lightning in 2021. It is estimated that on average twenty people per year die on American soil in similar circumstances. We have gone from peaks of 50 fatal accidents in 2007 to 17 deaths in 2020, a figure marked, however, by the ongoing health emergency.
Fonte: National Lightning Safety Council
And golf courses are particularly exposed and vulnerable to similar dangers, ranking behind only football for the largest number of casualties. Since 2006, there have been in the United States eleven dead golfers on the field because reached by lightning.
According to the National Weather Service, a flash contains on average about 300 million volts, compared to 120 volts for a household current.
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