My own experiments with electricity were not without incident, I can assure you. After one such attempt, I wound up being the one who was electrified, rather than the turkey which was the actual object of my research.
But I digress. I understand that the freakish lightning strike at Venice Beach, which injured thirteen people and killed one, was an extremely rare occurrence. The fact that the lightning struck the water and then traveled through it, using the salt water as a conductor, was not the unusual part; the fact that the beachgoers, who were in the water at the time, were simultaneously injured by the electricity, was what was truly different. I feel badly for them. Having endured such an electrical accident myself (and providentially having survived it), I know firsthand how serious this can be — especially for the one victim who went into full cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Lightning rods over every beach?
I sincerely wish there were a better way to prevent accidents such as this from happening. My lightning rod invention works very well to protect people and buildings on land, but it does little good for those in the ocean. Short of erecting a gigantic lightning rod atop a tall tower to protect every beach, I cannot imagine what else might possibly be done. I shall have to give that some more thought.
According to the news reports, the beachgoers watched the big storm cross the horizon, but they had no inkling it was going to head their way. So they were caught by surprise when a giant lightning bolt came out of the sky around 2:00 pm.
Perhaps there could be some better way of warning the people on the beach to take cover when a particularly serious lightning threat is approaching. I have observed that in some places, such as golf courses where there are wide-open areas susceptible to lightning strikes, they use loud air horns or other alarms to warn the people of an impending storm. Such a system could theoretically be tied into the automatic hazardous weather warnings from the National Weather Service that are available by computer or on cell phones.
Your humble servant,