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nevets88

4 struck by lightning in Toronto

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Four people have been injured after being struck by lighting on a golf course north of the city.

Paramedics were called to Bethesda Grange Golf Course, on Warden Ave. North of Stouffville Rd. around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, EMS said.

The victims are all male, according to police, aged between 51 and 60, from Thornhill, Toronto and Richmond Hill.

They were on the course but near the clubhouse, according to EMS. Police say one victim is in critical condition, while the other three are stable.

...

Around 7.5 per cent of lightning-related deaths happen to people while golfing, according to Environment Canada. Only campers, hikers and people at work are more at risk.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/06/17/four_struck_by_lightning_during_toronto_severe_thunderstorm_watch.html

http://globalnews.ca/news/1399020/multiple-people-struck-by-lightning-at-golf-course-north-of-toronto/

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We've had a lot of it here recently. One course I play stopped blowing the horn. Management there thinks there is less liability not warning golfers, their receipt has the "at your own risk" thing on it. Couple weeks ago we had a big storm come through, lightning, sideways rain and severe wind. I was standing in line waiting to get a rain check when I overheard a guy ask if he could play at his own risk. The course refused his request but I found it odd. He was there with 2 grade school aged kids and his wife. Golf wouldn't even have been fun with the weather that day but that guy was willing to risk the lives of his family to play in a storm. I don't get it.
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Four people have been injured after being struck by lighting on a golf course north of the city.

Paramedics were called to Bethesda Grange Golf Course, on Warden Ave. North of Stouffville Rd. around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, EMS said.

The victims are all male, according to police, aged between 51 and 60, from Thornhill, Toronto and Richmond Hill.

They were on the course but near the clubhouse, according to EMS. Police say one victim is in critical condition, while the other three are stable.

...

Around 7.5 per cent of lightning-related deaths happen to people while golfing, according to Environment Canada. Only campers, hikers and people at work are more at risk.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/06/17/four_struck_by_lightning_during_toronto_severe_thunderstorm_watch.html

http://globalnews.ca/news/1399020/multiple-people-struck-by-lightning-at-golf-course-north-of-toronto/

Horrible news. Watch the damn weather before you go out! If you're questioning the weather as a golfer, you don't belong out there. If the winds pick up and the sky is darkening, or you hear obvious thunder, you need to get inside asap.  Things do unfortunately happen and they can happen quickly, so people need to take every precaution necessary to prevent this from happening to them!

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You can't really go by a weather forecast if you golf in Denver.  Stuff blows in and out in 10 or 15 minutes.  You'd never finish a round if you didn't play through dark skies or a brief shower from time to time.

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We've had a lot of it here recently. One course I play stopped blowing the horn. Management there thinks there is less liability not warning golfers, their receipt has the "at your own risk" thing on it. Couple weeks ago we had a big storm come through, lightning, sideways rain and severe wind. I was standing in line waiting to get a rain check when I overheard a guy ask if he could play at his own risk. The course refused his request but I found it odd. He was there with 2 grade school aged kids and his wife. Golf wouldn't even have been fun with the weather that day but that guy was willing to risk the lives of his family to play in a storm. I don't get it.

It's a fact that the course's liability is greater if they have a warning system but don't get all players off the course.  By having the warnings, they are required to guarantee that all players are safe.  If a golfer ignores the warning and gets hit, the course is liable.  My home course used to subscribe to a local lightning warning system, but discontinued it when told that their insurance didn't cover such liability.  As a starter I was only allowed to comment anecdotally when asked, and not in an official capacity.  If someone asked me if it was safe to play, all I could do was point at the sky, or say I hear thunder, or say that I wouldn't play under the conditions present at the time.  In fact I had a script that I read over the PA system in lieu of an official warning, stating that the course does NOT have a warning system, but if players feel threatened, that they should seek shelter.

Along the front range in Colorado, most thunderstorms can easily be seen approaching from the mountains.  Most of them are small and localized, and can be tracked by eye and ear.  I just count it out - approximately 5 seconds per mile between the flash and the thunder - for a good estimate as to the threat.  If it gets closer than 15 seconds (3 miles) then I'm getting under cover.

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Just remember that lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the storm.
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Just remember that lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the storm.

Yeah, but it's possible to be too cautious.  And as I said, these are not the giant midwest supercells.  They are small, very local, and very visible, usually building in an otherwise clear sky.  My starter booth faced west and I'd see them build over the mountains and move out onto the plains.  I could tell where the storm was headed by where it formed.  I could watch the lightning strikes as it moved and have a really good idea when it was dangerously close.

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When I was involved in a small town baseball and softball organization in Missouri the hardest part of the job was watching approaching thunderstorms and deciding when to call games.

I made unpopular decisions to call games many times when it didn't even rain and the thunderstorm completely missed us but I wasn't willing to take chances. I was almost always at odds with another league official (and really good friend) who always wanted to wait until the last possible second to call the games.

BTW I absolutely hate trying to mow the course when thunderstorms are around because I can't hear thunder (or even see lightning very well) when mowing. It's the one time that I like mowing when golfers are on the course because I can usually tell something's up if I see them all heading for the clubhouse.

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You can't really go by a weather forecast if you golf in Denver.  Stuff blows in and out in 10 or 15 minutes.  You'd never finish a round if you didn't play through dark skies or a brief shower from time to time.

I'm from Ohio, where the saying is "If you don't like the weather, give it 10 minutes", so I definitely understand how quickly storms can come up. I also know that in Denver, the storms are typically fairly predictable as you can generally see them forming - unlike Ohio where the Great Lakes and Jet Stream and fronts can all impact the storms direction, intensity and speed. You can literally be playing in 80° sunshine with no wind whatsoever and wind up playing in a thunderstorm by the back 9. My point is that you can generally see that something is off before it happens. If you're hearing thunder, you're probably in danger and you should seek shelter or call it quits to be safe. If the sky is turning an ominous gray or black and you see flashes in the clouds, you definitely should be on your way to the club house or hiding somewhere.

I have seen people playing in torrential downpours and storms to finish up their last 2 holes too many times, while ignoring the course's siren and the marshal's air horn.

I'm not saying all strikes on a course can be avoided because shit does happen sometimes and it happens very quickly. In some of these cases though, I think common sense was ignored.

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I also know that in Denver, the storms are typically fairly predictable as you can generally see them forming

Is this true for winter weather as well? I was in Greely, CO in October 1997 for a business trip. While I was there, a blizzard dhut down the area. The thing is, no one anticipated the blizzard. In doing research afterwards, I seem to remember reading that it is really difficult to project how the mountains may impact a storm. Sometimes, a storm can be stalled by the mountains and hover over the area for hours...

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i cant get struck by lightning because im too fast.

i flip the switch for the lights by the door and im under the covers before the light turns off...

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If you can hear thunder, get off the course. There is no such thing as being too careful. The chances of getting hit are small, but the consequenses of getting hit are terrible.
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Is this true for winter weather as well? I was in Greely, CO in October 1997 for a business trip. While I was there, a blizzard dhut down the area. The thing is, no one anticipated the blizzard.

In doing research afterwards, I seem to remember reading that it is really difficult to project how the mountains may impact a storm. Sometimes, a storm can be stalled by the mountains and hover over the area for hours...

From family that lives there to my trips out there, I generally hear that you can literally see storms forming. Unpredictable in terms of strength and location, but when it starts happening you can see them. Further east, storms are tracking from the west so they're easy to see and predict.

My point is that if you see the damn sky turning black and it looks like something is forming, just get off of the course. $50 is not worth potentially dying for. I'll gladly drive back to the clubhouse and have a beer and let it pass or simply take a rain check if I feel uncomfortable. I just don't see how so many people can get caught off guard on a course unless you never look up at the sky.

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