Scottish woman dies after being struck by lightning while hiking

55-year-old Isobel Bytautas
55-year-old Isobel Bytautas Photo credit: Facebook/Isobel Bytautas

A woman has died after she was struck by lightning in Scotland.

Isobel Bytautas, a 55-year-old woman from Selkirk, was hiking on a mountain range along the west coast of Scotland near Glencoe when she was struck.

Another woman in her walking group was also hit, and both women were airlifted to hospital.

While the other woman survived and is in a stable condition, Bytautas died from her injuries on Saturday.

Glencoe Mountain Rescue team said the death was a "freak accident".

"It's very, very rare and the first time I've experienced one being involved with a direct hit with lightning on a hill," rescuer Andy Nelson told the BBC.

"We're quite used to seeing nasty accidents but this was very unusual. I would say it was a freak accident."

Between 30 and 60 people in the UK are struck by lightning annually. 

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) reports on average three of these are fatal.

It recommends keeping away from wide open spaces and exposed hilltops, as well as trees as these can all be targets for lightning.

"If you are exposed to the elements with nowhere to hide, make yourself as small a target as possible by crouching down with your feet together, hands on knees and your head tucked in. This technique keeps as much of you off the ground as possible," reads the ROSPA website.