Golfers warned to be vigilant about storms following lightning death

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 2, 2017 12:40

The manager of a golf club where a golfer was hit by lightning and died earlier this year has said he is warning members and visitors about electrical thunderstorms.

Tony Tyrrell, club owner and secretary of Fynn Valley Golf Club in Suffolk, said the club is warning players to be vigilant of thunderstorms and “take action at the first signs of any electrical activity”.

The comments follow an inquest that found that IT consultant Philip Shard, 60, died after he was struck by lightning at Fynn Valley while sheltering under a tree from hail, according to The Telegraph.

Shard, who had recently joined the club, and his friend, Brian Goldsmith, started playing in sunny weather on the morning of May 27. However, about an hour and 15 minutes later, the weather had deteriorated and, as they were on opposite sides of the fairway about to play shots on to the fifth green, it started to hail.

Mr Goldsmith said: “I was on the green and I looked over to see Philip putting on his waterproof jacket as the hail was getting heavier.

“When I went back, Philip had disappeared. As I walked back across the green there was a loud crack of thunder and lightning.

“I continued across the green and wandered towards a row of trees, assuming Philip was sheltering from the hail. I found him unconscious under a large conifer tree.”

Mr Goldsmith ran about 150 metres to a caravan owned by the golf club, where he asked someone to call for an ambulance.

Two people went back with him to where Mr Shard lay and tried to revive him with CPR and by using a defibrillator before paramedics arrived.

An air ambulance also attended but Mr Shard was taken by land ambulance to Ipswich Hospital. He died four days later having suffered a hypoxic brain injury.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone recorded a conclusion of accidental death due to lightning strike.

Mr Tyrrell added: “Everyone at the club is horrified. It’s a dreadful thing to have happened and our thoughts are with his family.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 2, 2017 12:40
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