Why do thunderstorms die over lakes
How can I protect myself from lightning while swimming, diving and water sports?
Lightning currents vary in a wide range from a few kilo-amperes to a few hundred kilo-amperes. In the case of very brief processes such as lightning, the energy converted in the body is decisive for the risk to persons: from around 10 joules occurs Ventricular fibrillation a. For swimmers and divers, however, the danger is also through panic to consider, which can be triggered with energy values well below these 10 joules.
- In the case of a strong lightning current (200 kA), the 10 joule value becomes greater than 40 m fell below the point of impact.
- With a medium lightning current (30 kA), the 10 joule value becomes around at a distance of 15 m fell below the point of impact.
- Even in 100 m Distance, depending on the strength of the lightning bolt, an unpleasant to painful electric shock is felt, which can lead to a panic reaction.
Since the lightning current spreads radially in all directions in the water from the point of impact, it does not matter whether a swimmer is observed on the surface of the water or a diver in the depths (at the same distance from the point of impact).
In the usual Diving depths from 10 m to 20 m almost every lightning strike that strikes roughly above the diver is immediate life threatening!
Recognizing the risk of thunderstorms can be a problem during longer dives. When preparing for the dive, you can rely on the weather forecast and weather observation (first clouds appearing). It is also helpful to have a look at the lightning maps available on the Internet, from which the drawing up and direction of movement of storm fronts can be seen.
A short-term warning can also be given by a buddy who remains on the surface.
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