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Old 05-11-2013, 07:28 AM
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Exclamation Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Stevensville ranch hand struck by lightning

12 hours ago • By PERRY BACKUS - Ravalli Republic


STEVENSVILLE – A 22-year-old ranch hand struck by lightning Thursday is expected to make a full recovery.

Diego Ramirez was moving irrigation pipe in the upper reaches of the Three Mile area northeast of Stevensville when lightning struck the pipe he was carrying.

The skies were relatively clear at the time of the strike, said Three Mile Fire Chief Russ Giese.

Ramirez was working alone at the time.

“He was able to get himself up and on his motorbike,” Giese said. “No one knows how long he was down.”

A fellow ranch hand told emergency responders that Ramirez could have been on the ground for as long as 30 minutes. Once he made contact with the other ranch hand, Ramirez was taken to his employer’s home where a 911 call was made.

Ramirez was flown by helicopter to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

“He’s doing pretty well,” said Ramirez’s employer, Matt Pendergast, on Friday. “There weren’t any internal injuries, other than his eardrums.”

Ramirez was wearing an iPod at the time of the accident. The lightning followed the wires and perforated both his eardrums.

“We think it hit the pipe he was carrying,” Pendergast said. “Nobody saw it. I think that it was the only thunder that anyone heard in the neighborhood.”

Giese said he hasn’t seen anything like it in the 22 years he’s served on the volunteer fire department.

“We’ve had structure fires started by lightning, but never had anyone hit by lightning in all the time I’ve been in the department,” Giese said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Luke Robinson said there were thunderstorms in the area at the time of the lightning strike.

“We had some over Stevensville and some over Missoula,” he said. “There were also some close to Florence.”

Lightning can travel a long distance.

“He could have had clear skies right over him when the strike occurred,” Robinson said. “Any time you can see a dark cloud or hear thunder, you are close enough. The storm could be 20 miles away from you and you can still get hit by a lightning strike.”
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Wow!

Be careful, folks!

This is one area I've seen stupidity come out in flyfishermen. Thunder starts rumbling and people still insist on standing around in water waving a long pole in the air.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Here you get out of the water. On the upper Rogue there's one run called the lighting hole. Many years back now but we had one of our occasional T & L's roll through the area. Fishing out of a friends jet sled and (with 2handers no less) and did a 'lets get the hell out of here.

Dash back to the boat ramp, anchor boat and blasted to his truck. Total 4th of July on top of us for the next 30'ish minutes. Anyway, storm moves on we go back fishing where we left off.

And both of us just looked at each other and did a HOLY SHIP, DO YOU SEE THAT???!! This huge (100 year old?) Oak tree had been blown to bits. It was like someone had stuck a few sticks of TNT down at the base.

Seattle area doesn't get this type of storm, but the odd one will roll through. Ref'ing an older Youth Soccer game and I saw the clouds coming, and knew just exactly what I was looking at. Suspended the match and told every one to get off the field. Herded the kids/parents up to a covered walkway (game was at a Jr. High School).

Just south of the field was/is one of Seattle's main power feed line tower runs. A bolt hit one of those and it was everyone GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! In 35 years of Reffing the number of games I've 'abandoned' can be counted on the fingers of one hand. That was one.
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Last edited by fredaevans; 05-11-2013 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Kan't ytupe with shxt 2 duy
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

As you say, out of the water! Here in Kansas we get nasty T-storms all the time.

Your experience reminds me of a band day one year in my hometown when several grade school bands are marching on the field for a halftime show (playing something called "Glorious Entry", no less). A thunderbolt nails the stadium light pole. Everyone decides one half of a football game is enough entertainment for a Friday night. End of story.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:05 PM
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Exclamation Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyfisher for men View Post
As you say, out of the water! Here in Kansas we get nasty T-storms all the time.

Your experience reminds me of a band day one year in my hometown when several grade school bands are marching on the field for a halftime show (playing something called "Glorious Entry", no less). A thunderbolt nails the stadium light pole. Everyone decides one half of a football game is enough entertainment for a Friday night. End of story.

LOVE IT!!!

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Reminds me of a friend of mine, Marine Captain at the time. One of his guys had lost an antenna and he found it. He was standing on top of a small hill yelling at his guys and waving the antenna around when he got struck by lightning. Knocked the bejesus out of him. Afterward he just laid on the ground smoldering with everyone looking down at him. He still had piece of the antenna in his hand. He survived but was never quite the same; a bit twitchy.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Here is what lighting does to a graphite fishing rod. This guy survived as well.

Click the image to open in full size.

Professional golfer Lee Trevino was hit by lightning. He was then asked what he would do if it started to storm again while he was golfing. He said, "If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron."

http://content.usatoday.com/communit...1#.UY6Ot-CkMrg

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...ne/MAG1135662/
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:55 PM
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Exclamation Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Sooo remember that line from Lee. I never could hit/use a 'wood' for shxt. My 'driver' was a 2 iron. With that I could hit a golf ball.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

I have been caught in the middle of a lake in my float tube with my fly rod more than once when a storm came up. I stick the tip in the water and haul butt for the shore (well as fast as you can in a tube) break the rods down under water and leave.

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Old 05-11-2013, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Dear God, this guy was lucky!

Click the image to open in full size.

I remember seeing this. I guess it set one guys head on fire. They (There were two guys in the boat) are lucky to be alive.

By the way, my house has been hit by lightning three times since I moved here. If you remember I was off line for a bit because it took out my computors. Killed one outright and killed the power supply in the other. Both were on surge protectors. Surge protectors only work for a few years and then they are just glorified short extension cords. If your stuff is on old ones, replace them.

Last Summer when I got hit. it came down the chimney pipe for the heater, and went into the electrical from there. I had to replace the heater because, even though I fixed the bbq'd electrical, there was more damage elsewhere. It sent unburned gas into the heat exchanger where it exploded knocking pictures off the walls and making my dog do a back flip from dead asleep.
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