20 December 2016

Dealing With Lightning

Lightning strikes are more common than you may think in Ireland. In fact with our work over the past three years we have had lightning strikes close by while on the Burren Hills and while kayaking on Lough Lein.

5 seconds between lightning flash and thunder = 1 mile. When the lightning is six miles away or closer (which is 30 seconds) it is time to take cover.

Get off the water or off wet/boggy ground. Get off high points/exposed points, for example get into a re-entrant instead of a spur. Stay away from tall structures. Discard metal tools, such as walking pole/climbing gear/kayak paddle. Spread out your party to 30 meters between each person.

Get insulated off ground by sitting on backpack, kayak, buoyancy aid. Get into 'lightning crouch' which is squatting on ground, head tucked into chest and hands covering ears.

Best of all though check a local weather forecast (www.windguru.com is good). Be conscious of what the weather did the previous day. Be aware of how the day is unfolding in relation to large dark clouds forming, heat building up. If you stay alert generally you will see a storm building up and approaching you; which gives you time to take preventative action...

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