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yippie kayak
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Post by yippie kayak » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:02 am

Whilst out paddling the other day in a heavy rain cloud, i was asked the question by a friend, " what happens if we get struck by lightning", I realised that i did not know the answer, Any thoughts on the matter?.

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Re: Lightning

Post by RichJ » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:14 am

Hi there,
A lazy response! I did a quick internet search and came up with this:- ... -paddling/

We have been caught out in 'close' thunder and lightning on a few occasions. Very disconcerting, especially when waving carbon paddles around (antenna) and sitting on a perfect 'earth' (water)!!


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Re: Lightning

Post by TheEcho » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:42 am

A kayaker died from a lightning strike a few years back in my local paddling area of Essex. Definitely something to consider when checking the weather forecast.

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Re: Lightning

Post by Jim » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:44 am

I beleive it is less clear cut than Captain Blackadder's description of what to do when you step on a landmine (jump 200 feet in the air and scatter yourself over a wide area).

In principle a very large electric current will pass through you burning tissue as it goes, the pulse should be enough to interrupt your heart beat and kill you even if the burning doesn't, but enough people have survived lightning strikes to prove that neither is absolutely certain. Most people do die, and survivors are usually very badly burned. Whether being on water makes a differnce to survival rate I don't know, it would make sense for strikes on water to be more often fatal than on land but I have no idea if there are stats to support that?

Lightning is complex, there is never certainty of being struck or avoiding a strike.

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Re: Lightning

Post by RichJ » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:55 am

Need a 'like' button for the Blacksdder quote!!

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Re: Lightning

Post by Mrstratos61 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:28 am

I came within 6 feet . Left my last uni exam and a bolt hit a waste paper bin destroying it. Cardioverting at 200 joules can stop a junior doctors heart via their tie. Saw it happen.

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Re: Lightning

Post by seawolf856 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:47 pm

Was paddling with a group to the Tudwal's (Abersoch) 27th May when that mother of thunder storms hit the Mid and West UK. Having heeded warnings when playing golf or fishing - both activities involving open spaces and hand held lightening conductors - I thought it might be wise to head to the beach and take cover. Based on what followed and subsequently having been sent the sdkc article by a friend ( ... d-paddling) it was definitely the right decision.

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Wildswimmer Pete
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Re: Lightning

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:53 pm

This is from a previous thread I contributed to:
Nili illegitimi carborundum

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Re: Lightning

Post by Ceegee » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:51 pm

Watch TITS (this is the sea) for a pretty close call of Justines' . Imo safest bet would be to get in the water and swim until it passes over
Steve C. G.

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Re: Lightning

Post by Ken_T » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:25 am

Hi Ceegee,
I am not sure that getting in the water is a good idea, if there is a strike to the water surface the lateral currents in the water at the point of the strike could be 10000's A/m2, reducing as the inverse square of the distance, the current will flow through a body the same as water (our bodies are about the same resistivity as water), it takes about 100mA to kill a person. The boat is a good insulator & will protect you. If you can't get to land & conditions (& design of your boat allow) I would suggest lying down inside your cockpit.

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Re: Lightning

Post by PhilAyr » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:54 am

I would suggest lying down inside your cockpit.
...and remain upright ! ..Something I will need to practice.


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