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Man Dies by Lightning Strike on New Jersey Beach While Trying to Warn Others of Approaching Storm

Beach lightning warning rescue

Tragedy Strikes as Man Killed by Lightning on Beach while Attempting to Warn Others of Incoming Storm

Tragedy struck on a beach in New Jersey on Sunday when a man was killed by a lightning strike while trying to warn others about an incoming storm. The deceased, identified as Patrick Dispoto, made the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to save others from the menacing storm.

The Fateful Incident

In his last act of heroism, Dispoto, 59, had returned to his truck along with his girlfriend, Ruth Fussell, when they realised a storm was approaching Seaside Park Beach. He made the brave decision to go back to the beach to warn others, telling Fussell, “I’m just going to warn these kids because the sky is going to open.”

Fussell, unable to persuade Dispoto against returning to the beach, waited nervously in the truck. After 15 minutes of anxious waiting and failed attempts to reach him via phone, she returned to the beach only to find Dispoto unconscious.

The Aftermath

Despite the immediate attention and efforts of the emergency responders that performed CPR at the scene, Dispoto was sadly pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause of death was ruled as an “accidental death caused by lightning strike.”

According to data from the National Lightning Safety Council, this tragic incident marks the third lightning death in the United States this year, and becomes the first lightning strike related death in New Jersey since 2021. A record shows a total of 16 lightning-related deaths in New Jersey since 2006, with five of those fatalities occurring on beaches.

In Memory of a Hero; and Precautions taken by Seaside Park

Deeply affected by the incident, Fussell expressed her hope that Dispoto will be remembered for his selflessness and the lengths he went to ensure the safety of others. “So, his last act of heroism was his ultimate, and that’s my Patrick Dispoto”, Fussell said, commemorating her late partner’s bravery.

Spurred by the unfortunate loss, and fuelled by a pre-existing drive for public safety, Seaside Park has promptly installed a lightning warning system known as the Strike Guard Lightning Detection System. This system, which cost nearly $50,000, has been designed to alert residents and visitors to any imminent dangers posed by lightning by monitoring both cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes within a twenty-mile radius.

Man Dies by Lightning Strike on New Jersey Beach While Trying to Warn Others of Approaching Storm

HERE Knoxville
Author: HERE Knoxville

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