Beach Lightning: Early Warnings

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) Sometimes in paradise, danger can strike without warning.

So while Sarasota County, Florida lifeguards keep an eye on the swimmers, they also keep an eye on the sky.

Sarasota County Beach Patrol Captain Roy Routh has his lifeguards use lightning detectors while they’re out working.

“It picks up electricity in the air, and as it approaches, it gives us an idea of the range,” Routh explains.

The handheld machines are used at all Sarasota County beaches, and they come in handy. Routh says even from ten miles out, lightning can be dangerous, so the detectors keep them in the know. The devices are very easy to use, with only four buttons and lights to denote the location of lightning strikes.

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