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  People vs. Other lightning targets
  Posted by: Booztalkin on Jul-11-11 3:45 PM (EST)

First of all, if I read the literature correctly, getting off the water is only an effective deterrent to lightning strike if you get into a substantial structure or enclosed vehicle. Just getting off the water may change your small odds of getting hit, but does not eliminate the risk.

Secondly, I was thinking about this thread the other day while paddling on the Magothy River (Chesapeake trib). There are hundreds of objects sticking out of the water, from pier pilings to trees to derelict boats to random poles. Are they not as attractive a target to lightning as a human? If a kayaker, a 3' bump on the water, is a prime target, why are all those 10' targets out there year after year, storm after storm?

Don't get me wrong. I am scared of lightning and hate to be stuck on the water in a storm. I do not advocate paddling through lightning storms. But why isn't that other stuff getting zapped all the time, or is it zapped and just doesn't show any sign of it?


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