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August 2008    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 23, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cave Diver Gets Electric Shock

from the August, 2008 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Taking cover in an underwater cave won’t protect you from electrocution during a thunder or lightning storm. Marc Laukien was diving the caves in Florida’s Madison Blue Springs on May 17, touching a cave wall with his right hand, when he suddenly felt a strong electric shock through his right arm. “We completed the dive without further incident but when we reached the basin, it became clear there was a huge thunderstorm above us,” he wrote on the forum at

“Staying in the water wasn’t a good idea, and neither was getting out really, given that we had lots of metal on our backs. Since the thunderstorm could last a long time (and it did), we got out of the water and after dropping our gear, made a run for the bathhouse. Others told us they had seen several lighting strikes close to where the Godzilla room must be located. One of those strikes must have made its way through the cave wall and my right arm.”

To see what you should and shouldn’t do in this situation, read our September 2007 article, “When Lightning Strikes During a Dive.”

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