A 70-year-old golfer in Westampton, New Jersey, died after he was struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon at the private Burlington Country Club.
Michael Ward of Florence was found dead alongside the seventh hole under a tree that was struck by lightning, according to a WABC-TV report. Isolated storms had been reported in the area, and detectives believe Ward may have been sheltering under the tree.
It was believed that Ward was the first lightning casualty in the U.S. this year.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s site Weather.gov offers the following lightning safety tips, which could be valuable information for golfers:
No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!
If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
And for last-resort outdoor risk reduction:
Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.
Never lie flat on the ground.
Never shelter under an isolated tree.
Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.).