Lightning Safety for Anglers & Boaters

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Did you know you are more likely to get struck by lightning in Florida than anywhere else in the United States? More people are struck while fishing than while performing any other outdoor activity worldwide—two facts that we take very seriously at Port Sanibel Marina.

Lightning Facts

In 2013, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered that 64 percent of lightning deaths since 2006 occurred while people were participating in leisure activities, with fishing topping the list.

The Lightning Capital of the U.S.

According  to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), lightning also kills more people in the U.S. than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. Thin as a ruler and five times hotter than the sun at some 53,000 degrees, lightening causes between 10-13  deaths and around 30 injuries per year in Florida.

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Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S.

Lightning Safety Tips for Anglers

To ensure the safety of swimmers, boaters and anglers in the Southwest Florida area, we have provided the following list of tips for avoiding lightening before it strikes.

Don’t Trust Mother Nature

Florida’s weather conditions can be very unpredictable. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for it to start raining while the sun is still beaming. Always have a plan for taking cover or getting back ashore in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

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Florida’s weather is unpredictable.

Check the Weather

Fatal strikes, however, are no doubt more likely to occur on the water where the ocean breeze and moisture make for the perfect environment for storm clouds to brew. To avoid getting caught in risky weather, anglers should check the weather report, storm warnings and safety precautions before heading out on the water.

Look for Storm Clouds

See storm clouds? Hear thunder? Head indoors. Storm clouds aren’t always an indicator that lightning is imminently going to strike. However, it isn’t a risk worth taking. Like previously mentioned, the weather is often unpredictable. 

Listen for Thunder

Mother Nature is not to be ignored. If you hear thunder, lightning is on the way. Head for shore immediately.

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Listen for thunder as a warning sign on the water.

Call Before you Boat

If you are visiting Fort Myers Beach or the Sanibel and Captiva Island area of Southwest Florida, give us a call at  (239) 437-1660 or check the weather on our website before you boat in the area.

We can provide you with a current weather report and help plan your next fishing adventure with on our guided charters, house your boat or put you on the water in a boat, kayak, canoe or paddle board rental. Click here to find out more!

Lightning Safety Resources

Get more information from the experts about lightning safety and strike prevention at the following resources: