Agia Agathi beach: British man, 26 ‘struck by lightning’ while paddle boarding in Rhodes, Greece dies
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A British man has died after he was reportedly hit by lightning while paddleboarding in Greece. The 26-year-old was in the sea during a thunderstorm in Agia Agathi, Rhodes, as his girlfriend watched on from the beach, local media outlets report.
Some reports said he had been swimming at the time, rather than paddleboarding. An investigation is now under way into the incident, which is believed to have happened shortly before 2pm on Monday (May 29) local time (12pm UK time).
Rodiaki, a Greek newspaper reported that lightning struck the water near the paddleboarder, causing him to fall in the sea injured. The Port Authority of Rhodes confirmed the man’s age and that he was a British national but would give no further information.
A spokesperson said: "This is an active case so we cannot give more details at the moment."
The newspaper stated a Brazilian footballer who plays for a local side, waded into the sea to pull the man back to shore. Medics then took him to hospital before he was declared dead, the publication added.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Rhodes and are in contact with local authorities."
According to the swimming website oceanswims.com, when lightning strikes water the electric charge doesn’t penetrate deep into the water, but rather, it spreads across the surface, dispersing horizontally.
"This electric charge can travel as little as 10m or as much as 100m or more, depending on the power of the lightning bolt itself," it added.
"From a swimmers’ point of view, this means the bolt of lightning doesn’t have to hit you directly for it to cause harm."