I'm not sure the problem is so much lightning, it's the name 'Venice Beach' that appears to be dangerous. A small plane crashed on Venica beach FL yesterday killing some unsuspecting dad at the beach with his family.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /13246515/
Honestly this is a heavy boating area in South Florida and just about every weekend someone gets killed in boating accidents, most never even hit the news anymore. I would be much more concerned about getting killed by drunk go fast boats, than being hit by lightning. At least it's my observation that anytime any type of lightning storm is in the area at all, pretty much everyone is wise enough to get out of the water and get to safe harbor (including boats). Since we have thunder storms pretty much every afternoon during the summer, everybody pretty much knows the drill (this is actually a good thing IMO). Where I get downright scared is if I'm offshore or more than a few miles from launch on my TI, and a storm comes up suddenly (they always seem to come up really fast), I want to be able to get out of dodge and get to safety as quickly as possible, if there is little to no wind (which is often the case just before it pours, lull before the storm), and I only have the pedal drives to rely on, or the wind is in the wrong direction and/or really kicks up hard (always seems to end up that way) then I know I'm in a world of trouble.
Myself and quite a few others have been caught too many times going out to Egmont key with a gentle wind and beautiful day (it's about 9 miles from the boat docks to Egmont Key FYI). Then all of a sudden something comes up and your fighting 25 mph offshore winds with 4 ft breakers rolling over you trying to get back to shore Ft Desoto (and safety).
This has also happened to me quite a few times also at our other place down in Key West (next stop Cuba LOL).
My solution since the first time I got into trouble (the day I bought my first TI) has always to have a reliable gas outboard mounted on the boat, to get me home if anything were to happen, actually in 4 1/2yrs of sailing my TI every weekend, I have never gone out without an outboard mounted to the boat. This doesn't mean you have to use it of course, it's there basically for safety purposes.
Of course I'm out there every weekend, and since we are mostly divers/snorkelers we tend to go out a little further, and stay out a little longer than most would. Obviously my TI is all hardened for offshore with big anchors, re-enforcement everywhere, massive sails, FM radios, navigation systems, etc, but that's what we use our boat for mostly. These are our home waters, and we know all the currents and where you can go safely which is huge in my eyes (Key West is not for the feint of heart kayaking wise, (kind of dangerous actually), without local knowledge you could get yourself in big trouble fast with a stock TI, or any kayak ( I'm just sayin).
Bottom line for us is we really enjoy visiting the third biggest coral reef in the world as often as we can get out there, actually we were down there (KW) the last couple weeks (workin on the stupid house mostly) but were able to get out on the boat a few times. My wife and daughter shot this video while down there, pretty cool.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9NMZmFMTU4
Just being able to do stuff like this makes it all worth the small risk for me, but always be especially aware of the weather....
My advise to anyone is to get out of there if there is even a chance of lightning storms, and your boat should have the means to do it in my opinion if you travel any distance from safety. And never buy a blue boat (look at what happened to that blue boat earlier, and look up once in a while for falling airplanes, and especially drunk go fast powerboaters ( LOL))