Thunder and Lightning, no not the ice cream!^

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NickB
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Thunder and Lightning, no not the ice cream!^

Post by NickB » Tue May 09, 2006 2:13 pm

Found this article ( http://www.seapaddler.co.uk/Lightning.htm) whilst having a look around on Seapaddler.co.uk, any one here have any experience of paddling in thunder/lightning storms?
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Nick Benny

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue May 09, 2006 2:28 pm

I rather like the suggestion for the "position to adopt if caught in the open" - - -

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PeterG
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Post by PeterG » Tue May 09, 2006 2:37 pm

Working in tropical Africa I have been very close to lightening strikes several times but never whilst paddling.

Windsurfing poses a greater danger connected as one is to a 4.6m carbon fibre lightening conductor. We also have the bad habit of sheltering under the said mast and sail (complete with carbon fibre battens) in the warm sea when cold rain is falling rather than heading for the shore.

If the hairs on the back of your neck start rising make sure there is a windsurfer nearby and be ready to resusitate him


Peter

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue May 09, 2006 2:43 pm

On a more serious note, where do we stand (or "sit") as regards the risks we face as paddlers were we to be caught in a lightening storm while at sea?

While crouching down away from trees etc may well be good advice on land, it's hardly practical for us.

Mike

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seismicscot
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Post by seismicscot » Tue May 09, 2006 3:06 pm

MikeB wrote:I rather like the suggestion for the "position to adopt if caught in the open" - - -
....get you paddling partner(s) to wave their carbon fibre paddle in the air!

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Clark
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Bertie..
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Post by Bertie.. » Tue May 09, 2006 4:09 pm

I'm working on the theory there's more chance I'll git hit by other boats trying to escape the storm! ;-)

My wife (who was then a large animal vet) tried convincing me that the amount by which you'd be fried when close to a ground strike is directly related to the PD (potential difference) created by the distance between your legs - this apparently explains the reason why large animals fall dead quite regularly from ground strikes - or something like that. I was never really sure if she wasn't just making it up..

With this in mind, maybe the best option if we're caught out in it, and we're not convinced by the insulating properties of our boats, is to place both hands in the water on the same side, not opposite sides of the boat??

just a thought - personally I just figure I'll be either lucky, or really unlucky.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue May 09, 2006 4:15 pm

Bertie.. wrote:- - is to place both hands in the water on the same side, not opposite sides of the boat??
Hmmm - and if I do that, I'll be very wet!

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Post by Bertie.. » Tue May 09, 2006 4:18 pm

I'm working on the theory there's more chance I'll git hit by other boats trying to escape the storm! ;-)

My wife (who was then a large animal vet) tried convincing me that the amount by which you'd be fried when close to a ground strike is directly related to the PD (potential difference) created by the distance between your legs - this apparently explains the reason why large animals fall dead quite regularly from ground strikes - or something like that. I was never really sure if she wasn't just making it up..

With this in mind, maybe the best option if we're caught out in it, and we're not convinced by the insulating properties of our boats, is to place both hands in the water on the same side, not opposite sides of the boat??

just a thought - personally I just figure I'll be either lucky, or really unlucky.

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nicbob
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Post by nicbob » Tue May 09, 2006 7:49 pm

Bertie.. wrote: My wife (who was then a large animal vet)...
That's a bit unfair, Bertie, I've met her and I'd say she was no bigger than a size 10 at best.
SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!

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Post by Bertie.. » Wed May 10, 2006 8:57 am

Nicbob,

Thanks for pointing out that I had inferred (incorrectly!!) my wife was large. I'm sure those others who know her will have great fun pointing this out to her - gonna have to work hard on those brownie points now!

;-)

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NickB
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Post by NickB » Wed May 17, 2006 12:25 pm

Some interesting information here:

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm
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Nick Benny

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NickB
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Post by NickB » Wed May 17, 2006 12:27 pm

A thread running here:

http://www.paddling.net/message/showThr ... 937#473973

Scroll about a third of the way down and look at:

Important lightning information...
Posted by: Pam_ORL on Apr-26-06
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Nick Benny

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Mike Marshall
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Lightning.

Post by Mike Marshall » Wed May 17, 2006 10:27 pm

The strange thing about some lightning is that it goes upwards!!!
When you see the strike apparently coming from the cloud it is the ionisation of the air back to ground as the lightning makes contact from earth to the negatively charged clouds.
The ease with which animals get killed is due to "step potential" and is more common with electrical faults than lightning. This is the potential difference between the legs. Any animal with four points of contact has significantly more chance of current flowing through the body than a biped (or a triffid!!), as the electricity tries to find a path of least resistance.
In my 30 years in the power industry, I have seen many a bloated animal due to fallen power lines or electrical faults in the milking parlours. Funny thing is, they were always the best milking cow that died???
("I wouldnt have parted with her for a £1000!!")
I wouldnt like to guess what the risk is on the water in a glass boat, single point of contact but with nice shiny carbon fibre Werners in hand.
It would be lessened if you were near higher ground (cliffs, high shoreline etc). Away from the shore any distance I would be feeling extremely vunerable, having seen the destructive effects of direct lightning strikes .
MikeM

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Fri May 19, 2006 9:56 am

The discussion Nick links to inludes a link to the (US) National Weather Service and an article on lightning safety - just for ease of access, it's here

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