The marine insurance company, Gowrie Group has an article on what exactly lightning is, the possibility of a strike and prevention measures.
Lightning is a channel of negative charge that zigzags downward in roughly 50-yard segments in a forked pattern. It shoots to the ground in less time than it takes to blink. As it nears the ground, the negatively charged particles (called a leader) are attracted to a channel of positive charge reaching up (called a streamer), normally through something tall, such as a tree, house, or telephone pole (or a mast!). Read More