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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interesting article. Wonder if he really got killed due to second strike or because of the way the lightning traveled to ground?

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060625/NEWS03/606250485/1007
 

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This guy was certainly insulated from the ground... but he still got nailed. So much for THAT old wives tail...
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Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/25/06
BY CHAD WEIHRAUCH
GANNETT NEW JERSEY
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A 59-year-old camper died at Round Valley Reservoir, apparently after he was struck by lightning while resting in a hammock, officials said.

Police were still investigating the incident Saturday night.

Deputy Chief Sam DeBella of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office identified the victim only as a man from the Holmdel area. He was in the park kayaking Friday during the day and remained to camp overnight. At some point, he fell asleep Friday night or Saturday in a hammock anchored to several trees, police said.

Several fierce storms moved through Central Jersey during that period.

"It appears from what we can tell at this point that lightning struck the tree, struck the ground and hit him," DeBella said.

Officials said they were unsure who discovered the victim, but DeBella said he was not camping alone.

Earlier in the day, Hunterdon County Prosecutor J. Patrick Barnes said officials were withholding the man's name, pending notification of his next of kin.

The exact cause of death will be determined during an autopsy, probably to be conducted in the next week, he added — but the apparent cause of death was the lightning strike.

"It looks that way, but again, that would be the medical examiner's call," Barnes said.

Rescue vehicles from the Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad were parked at the main launch Saturday, and emergency personnel evidently had used a boat to reach the south side of the 2,000-acre reservoir.

According to the state Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Parks and Forestry, there are more than 80 relatively remote campsites on the far side of the lake, which is roughly 3 miles across at its longest point. Campers can reach the sites only by boat, emergency access roads — or a 3- to 6-mile trek along the Cushetunk Trail.

DeBella said he was unsure whether the victim had reached the camping area by kayak or on foot.

A spokeswoman for the DEP, Elaine Makatura, also confirmed the victim had camped at the reservoir and was struck by lightning. She declined further comment Saturday, saying park police and other rescue officials were handling the investigation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I was thinking that maybe the lightning went across the hammock (from one tree to the next) to ground rather than straight thru the tree to ground) and thus killed him. I've seen lightning do strange stuff.

I used to work for Motorola and then GE in the land mobile radio and marine radio business end of the electronics industry and have climbed many radio towers and have witnessed (after the fact of course - thankfully) some stranage lightning tracks. The one I remember as being one of the outstanding incidents was on a 100 foot tower. The antenna (a Phelps Dodge Super Station Master) got hit and the lightning came down to about the 70 foot level and came out of the antenna and into the tower leg. At about the 30 foot level it did just opposite and then about 5 foot off the ground it appeared to once again come out of the tower leg and into the chain link fence fusing the chain link part to the fence structure. I guess it went into the ground as we saw no other large burn marks like we saw on the tower. Oh yeah, the antenna was destroyed. [wink]

Lightning - I have a LOT of respect for it. Yesterday, we got caught in a thunder storm coming in off the flats on the lower Chesapeake and I was glad when we got back to the launch area...... [grin]
 
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