Lightning Strike Kills 15-Year-Old Swimmer At Tybee Island

A 15-year-old girl swimming in Tybee Island on Saturday has died after she was struck by lightning while swimming off the coast of Georgia.

According to Tybee Island Police, a call came in around 2:37 PM about a female who possibly had been struck by lightning.

Upon arrival, firefighters and lifeguards performed CPR. The teen was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, ABC17 News reported.

The 15-year-old was visiting the area with her family from Alabama.

Police have since expressed their condolences.

“The men and women of the City of Tybee Island are deeply saddened by the loss of this young woman, and our hearts remain with her family and friends,” the statement read.

The National Weather Service says on average, 49 people are killed per year due to lightning strikes, and hundreds are injured.

“Lightning doesn’t strike the ocean as much as land, but when it does, it spreads out over the water, which acts as a conductor,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“If you’re at the beach and hear thunder or see lightning, get out of the water. Get off the beach and take shelter in a building or in your car.”

Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions
also released a statement, saying, “Often swimmers and beachgoers are enjoying the moment, and when storms appear suddenly, the unthinkable can occur.”

“All of us on Tybee have heavy hearts today, especially the first responders who desperately tried to save her life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young lady.”

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