This will seem like common sense to some of us, but swimming in the rain during a thunderstorm can be very dangerous. Here are a few reasons to hop out of the water when the rain starts to fall.
Lightning Can Turn Swimming in the Rain Deadly
As we’ve discussed before, electricity can easily turn a relaxing dip into a deadly situation
. Put simply, water and electricity don’t mix! Actually, they play a bit too well together. You see, water conducts electricity.
For this reason, swimming in the rain when you hear thunder or lighting can be very risky. You see, when a bolt of lightning strikes, it often hits the tallest thing in the vicinity. On dry land, this often means something like a tree. However, across a flat surface of water, a swimmer’s head can suddenly seem very tall. Basically, your head and body peaking out of the water can become a target for lightning.
To take this a step further, lightning can also be dangerous even when you’re not directly hit. As you can probably guess, even after you get out of the water, you’re still a prime target. Your best bet is to head indoors as quickly as possible. Even standing next to the water during a thunderstorm can put you in danger. If lightning strikes nearby, the shock can spread through the ground and injure people. According to recent reports
, when it comes to lightning-related deaths, 46% of the people were fishing and 25% of them were on the beach.
Watching Out for Thunder and Lightning
Thunder and lightning go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, thunder can act as an early warning sign for deadly lightning strikes. Typically, thunder can be heard from about 10-15 miles away from your present location, and a flash of lightning follows shortly after.
That’s why you should get out of the water immediately if you hear thunder or see lightning! You can never totally predict where lightning will strike, so it’s better to avoid swimming in the rain and head for shelter. Above all, be sure not to enter or approach the water again until all signs of thunder and lightning are completely gone. In fact, all water-related activities should be avoided until at least thirty minutes after the skies have gone quiet.
Stormy Weather Means Rougher Water
Finally, here’s one more reason to avoid swimming in the rain… rougher swimming conditions. During a storm, it’s often possible that the ocean will become significantly more difficult to navigate. Even experienced swimmers may find themselves caught by sudden riptides or struggling to avoid drowning danger
. For this reason, it’s best to check the weather reports before taking a dip. Furthermore, don’t swim in any area without proper lifeguard supervision
. Swimming can be great fun, but it’s best not to take any unnecessary risks. Plan your day accordingly and skip the water activities if it seems like the weather will turn sour. When it comes to avoiding trouble, knowing is half the battle.