ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK - A man has been hospitalized in Ocean County after authorities say he was struck by lightning at Island Beach State Park.

The man, believed to be in his 40s, was fishing at around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when a pop-up thunderstorm rolled into the area. Lifeguards asked everyone to leave the area, and as the man was making his way off the beach, lightning struck the fishing pole he was carrying.

Park manager Ray Bukowski says beachgoers described a frightening situation. "What they told me is they heard a loud clap and the individual just looked to be in some pain and headed toward the sand."

Witnesses told News 12 New Jersey the man was conscious and in good spirits when he was taken by ambulance to Community Medical Center in Toms River.

Three years ago, a man was struck by lightning and killed in the same area.