Alabama man killed by lightning strike when group floating down creek gets caught in storm

Published 10:07 am Monday, July 18, 2022

An Alabama man was killed by a lightning strike when he and a group of people floating on a creek were caught in a thunderstorm.


Greg Shipp, of Brewtom, was found unresponsive on a sandbar along Burnt Corn Creek during a thunderstorm on July 9.

Capt. James Carroll with the Brewton Fire Department was among the first responders who went to the aid of Shipp.

“He was already on the sandbar when I arrived and CPR had started,” Caroll said. “When the medics arrived, they tried to save him, but they weren’t able to.”

Caroll said Shipp was among a group of four adults and a child who were floating down the creek when they were caught in a storm. No others were injured in the incident.

Shipp leaves behind a wife and three children as well as his father, Lawton Shipp, and brother, Jaye.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time, however, services will be conducted by Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Brewton.

Units responding to the call at around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday included the Brewton Police Department, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, D.W. McMillan EMS and Brewton Fire Department. No first responders were injured during the response.

The National Weather Service offers the following safety tips when lightning occurs: If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

• Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks

• Never lie flat on the ground

• Never shelter at an isolated tree

• Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter

• Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water

• Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, etc.)

When indoors, NWS advises to stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.