Lightning Deaths Claim More Men, People Who Fish

Lightning deaths in the United States, new data from government weather officials show, claim an overwhelming number of men versus women. Fishing is also the top activity for lighting deaths in the US.

The new figures show that between 2006 and 2012 there were 238 people in the US who were struck and killed by lightning. Of them, 82 percent were male.

As NBC News reports on the new data, more than half of those killed were involved in recreational activities when they were struck.

The majority of them, the data shows, were individuals who were fishing at the time.

Fishing, with 26 lightning deaths, topped the deaths of 15 camping, 14 boating, 12 soccer, and eight golfing. Other activities included swimming, running, and picnicking.

National Weather Service officials say, when people participate in activities like fishing and camping, they have a tendency to underestimate the danger of the coming storm. They wait too long to leave the area and find safe cover.

Because people tend to do their fishing and camping far from shelter, people may have a longer distance to go to be safe, officials explained.

Why men overwhelmingly get hit by fatal lightning was not addressed, though speculation on the differential leisure preferences of men and women in the US may reveal an answer.

The data, points out National Geographic, also shows that about ten percent of people struck by lightning die.

So far, seven individuals have been hit and killed by lightning strikes. Three were men who were fishing.

Lightning deaths have been in a decline since the National Weather Service began a campaign in 2001 to raise awareness of the risks and dangers of lightning storms as well as how to find safe cover quickly.

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