Lightning strike leaves man unresponsive near North Carolina coast, cops say

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A man was unresponsive after he was struck by lightning near the North Carolina coast, officials said.

The man reportedly was in the Masonboro Island area when he was hit on Sunday, July 3. The island is home to a nature preserve and is roughly 7 miles southeast of Wilmington.

Deputies responded to a call at about 3:15 p.m. and found the man had been struck, though officials said it was unclear whether he was in the water or on land when it happened, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and WECT.

The same afternoon as the reported strike, the National Weather Service warned of the potential for 30-mph winds and half-inch hail in several places south of Wilmington.

After the incident, the man was given CPR and taken to the nearby Bradley Creek Marina, Lt. Jerry Brewer told McClatchy News in a phone interview. First responders then took him to a hospital, WWAY reported.

Roughly 40 million lightning strikes reach U.S. soil annually, leading to more than a dozen deaths in North Carolina between 2006 and 2021, data shows. Still, “the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than one in a million, and almost 90% of all lightning strike victims survive,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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