Jersey Shore town uses tech to detect lightning

Posted: Updated:
SEA GIRT -

A town at the Jersey Shore is going high-tech in order to protect its beachgoers during inclement weather.

On days when thunderstorms are expected, Sea Girt Chief Lifeguard Timothy Harmon scans multiple websites and activates the SkyScan Lightning Detection System. The scanner can detect lightning up to 30 miles away.

“Some of the technology in our lifeguard headquarters, our lightning detector, and just being able to have our computers with multiple websites allows us to track the incoming storm,” Harmon says.

When lightning is detected within 10 miles, lifeguards clear the beaches. The guards say that it takes three to four minutes to clear a beach on a typically busy summer afternoon. They say that the lightning detection boxes could give them a 10-minute window to get people to safety.

Manasquan beach officials say that they have purchased a similar tool after seeing the benefit the detector provides.

“I’m old-school, so I mean I relied on my ears and eyes when I heard the thunder,” says Manasquan beach manager Wally Wall. “Between the apps on your telephone, computer and these new gadgets, it’s terrific.”

Lifeguards stress that beachgoers should leave the beach when they are told in order to ensure their safety.

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