Stories from lightning strike survivors.

Lightning is an extremely powerful and dangerous force of nature. Lightning bolts are created when electrical imbalances build up between the clouds and the ground between two sets of clouds. The world experiences about 40 to 50 lightning strikes every second, with each year registering well over one billion strikes. Lightning strikes can be fatal, but a few lightning strike victims have lived to share their story. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), about 90 percent of lightning strike victims survive, although most victims are left with debilitating health issues.

Here are 3 amazing cases of lightning strike survivors in recent history:

Winston Kemp

Winston Kemp survived a possible ground lightning strike and lives on to tell his story. It’s a situation where lightning spills over the ground around the point of impact. He didn’t realize he had been hit until hours later when he felt some pain in his arm. Soon after, blisters formed and eventually healed into a unique fractal pattern.

Melvin Roberts

Every single year, the odds of suffering a lightning strike are one in 700,000. Surprisingly, Melvin Roberts is among the few lightning strike survivors who have been hit six times. If you look at the probability, the odds of getting hit by lightning six times is one in 117 million billion billion. Roberts lives in Seneca, SC, a state with more than average probability of getting hit by lightning.

Roberts was hit by lightning on a sunny day while mowing his lawn. Lightning can travel miles before touching down on the ground, so it’s not surprising that some people get hit under blue sunny skies. So, lightning safety should always be observed even if the weather condition seems favorable.

Roy Sullivan

If you thought the odds of getting hit by lightning six times was inconceivable, meet the guy who has suffered seven lightning strikes! Roy Sullivan was a US park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. In the period between 1942 and 1977, Sullivan survived seven lightning strikes, all of which were documented.

His second hit happened when he was in his truck – the truck’s body acted as a Faraday cage, diverting electric current down into the ground. The fourth hit occurred in the ranger station in Shenandoah National Park. Comically, the fifth and sixth hits emanated from tiny clouds that he swore were trailing him. The seventh and the craziest hit happened while he was fishing. After the terrifying lightning strike, Sullivan had to fight off an angry bear that dashed out of the woods with the intention to have a bite of the fish he had caught.

Lightning Protection Solutions

Lightning protection systems are critical on business premises. Direct or nearby lightning strikes can result in extensive damage to any property and injuries or fatalities to individuals. Utility systems can be shut down, company or customer data can be lost, and the well-being of building occupants can be put at risk.

At Lightning Master, we understand the science of lightning strikes, so we can leverage our innovation and experience to provide lightning protection systems to safeguard your property from direct or indirect lightning strikes. For more than three decades, we’ve spent time and resources improving our techniques, products, and services to recommend the proper implementation of lightning protection systems. We also provide efficient lightning protection for oil and gas facilities. Contact us today to learn more about lightning strikes and how we can help protect your employees and property.