New Jersey man dies after being struck by lightning while trying to get kids off beach

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By Asiya Ali

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A man sadly died after he was struck by lightning while he tried to warn a group of kids about the approaching storm.

Patrick Dispoto, 58, was found unconscious on J Street Beach in Seaside Park, New Jersey, at around 7:38PM on Sunday (June 23), as reported by News 12 New Jersey.

Officials began CPR on the late man and then rushed him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 9PM.

No witnesses directly saw what happened to Dispoto, Seaside Park police disclosed. The beach was closed at the time.

Dispoto's girlfriend Ruth revealed to the outlet that her partner took her to safety inside his truck before returning to the beach to warn a group of children about the thunderstorm. Lifeguards were no longer on duty at the time.

An autopsy conducted on Tuesday (June 25) confirmed that the man passed away due to an accidental death caused by lightning.

Sgt. Andrew Casole of the Seaside Park police also revealed to Asbury Park Press that the cause of death was a lightning strike.

GettyImages-151419314.jpgThe man sadly died after being struck by lightning. Credit: Copyright Chase Schiefer. www.chaseschieferphotography.com / Getty

According to the National Weather Service, "approximately 1,800 thunderstorms occurring over the Earth,” meaning about 100 lightning flashes each second and nearly 8 million per day.

The report stated that the average person has a "one-in-600,000 chance of being struck by lightning" during their lifetime and that since 1959, "approximately 86 people have died each year across the U.S. due to lightning strikes".

However, most fatal incidents occur when people swim, hike, or play golf.

GettyImages-1124444076.jpgThe average person has a "one-in-600,000 chance of being struck by lightning" during their lifetime. Credit: Jure Batagelj / 500px / Getty

The tragedy comes as Seaside Park officials were working on upgraded lighting detection systems, per News 12 New Jersey.

“We don’t want to tell people when the storm is here, we want to tell people that the storm is coming so that they can stay ahead of it,” Seaside Park lifeguard captain Jim Rankin told the outlet.

“In the event of a thunderstorm, the beach is a very dangerous place to be. So if you feel things like a wind shift if it’s fluttering back and forth between hot and cold, you see the clouds, you hear little rumbles of thunder — those are signs to get off the beach,” he added.

New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow added: "By definition, every thunderstorm contains lightning. Therefore, every thunderstorm is potentially dangerous."

"Lightning is always looking for the easiest path from cloud to ground," he continued. "On a wide open beach - with no trees, buildings, or structures around - a person can often be the most effective conductor around."

Zarrow said that if you can "hear thunder" then you are "close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning,” adding one key safety tip: “When thunder roars, head indoors."

Our thoughts are with Dispoto's loved ones at this heartbreaking time.

Featured image credit: Anton Petrus / Getty

New Jersey man dies after being struck by lightning while trying to get kids off beach

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A man sadly died after he was struck by lightning while he tried to warn a group of kids about the approaching storm.

Patrick Dispoto, 58, was found unconscious on J Street Beach in Seaside Park, New Jersey, at around 7:38PM on Sunday (June 23), as reported by News 12 New Jersey.

Officials began CPR on the late man and then rushed him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 9PM.

No witnesses directly saw what happened to Dispoto, Seaside Park police disclosed. The beach was closed at the time.

Dispoto's girlfriend Ruth revealed to the outlet that her partner took her to safety inside his truck before returning to the beach to warn a group of children about the thunderstorm. Lifeguards were no longer on duty at the time.

An autopsy conducted on Tuesday (June 25) confirmed that the man passed away due to an accidental death caused by lightning.

Sgt. Andrew Casole of the Seaside Park police also revealed to Asbury Park Press that the cause of death was a lightning strike.

GettyImages-151419314.jpgThe man sadly died after being struck by lightning. Credit: Copyright Chase Schiefer. www.chaseschieferphotography.com / Getty

According to the National Weather Service, "approximately 1,800 thunderstorms occurring over the Earth,” meaning about 100 lightning flashes each second and nearly 8 million per day.

The report stated that the average person has a "one-in-600,000 chance of being struck by lightning" during their lifetime and that since 1959, "approximately 86 people have died each year across the U.S. due to lightning strikes".

However, most fatal incidents occur when people swim, hike, or play golf.

GettyImages-1124444076.jpgThe average person has a "one-in-600,000 chance of being struck by lightning" during their lifetime. Credit: Jure Batagelj / 500px / Getty

The tragedy comes as Seaside Park officials were working on upgraded lighting detection systems, per News 12 New Jersey.

“We don’t want to tell people when the storm is here, we want to tell people that the storm is coming so that they can stay ahead of it,” Seaside Park lifeguard captain Jim Rankin told the outlet.

“In the event of a thunderstorm, the beach is a very dangerous place to be. So if you feel things like a wind shift if it’s fluttering back and forth between hot and cold, you see the clouds, you hear little rumbles of thunder — those are signs to get off the beach,” he added.

New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow added: "By definition, every thunderstorm contains lightning. Therefore, every thunderstorm is potentially dangerous."

"Lightning is always looking for the easiest path from cloud to ground," he continued. "On a wide open beach - with no trees, buildings, or structures around - a person can often be the most effective conductor around."

Zarrow said that if you can "hear thunder" then you are "close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning,” adding one key safety tip: “When thunder roars, head indoors."

Our thoughts are with Dispoto's loved ones at this heartbreaking time.

Featured image credit: Anton Petrus / Getty