Guide injured by lightning strike at Grand Canyon

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) -- Authorities say a river guide is recovering after being injured by a lightning strike at the Grand Canyon National Park.

Park officials say they received a call about 9:15 p.m. Sunday about an Arizona Raft Adventures river guide needing medical attention after a lightning strike. The group was camped at river mile 220.

Arizona Department of Public Safety airlifted the guide to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for treatment of associated injuries.

The name of the guide and that person's condition weren't immediately released Monday.

Officials say lightning strikes at the bottom of the Grand Canyon are rare, but they have caused serious injuries and fatalities in the past at the park.

Back-country users can help reduce risk by getting off the water as soon as thunder is heard, and not stand in the river or other pools of water during a storm. Avoid seeking shelter near trees and bushes that rise above others and avoid cave entrances.

If you're in an open area during a storm, it's recommend that you assume the "lightning position", which will reduce the chances of getting a direct strike. Experts say you should squat or ball up to be as low as possible, without lying flat on the ground.

Wrap your arms around your legs, keep your feet together, and if possible use a sleeping pad or other insulated object to sit on. Avoid sitting on backpacks with metal frames.