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Report finds lightning unlikely to strike public shelters

A REPORT tabled at the last council meeting by chief executive officer Lisa Desmond has found a lightning strike to a Fraser Coast public shelter is unlikely to occur.

The report was tabled last Wednesday after councillor George Seymour asked for a risk assessment at the council's meeting in July.

The Risk of Lightning Strikes - Public Shelters report documented the situation of a double fatal lightning strike in a park at Geelong in 1997.

A woman was killed instantly and a man a short time later when lightning struck a rotunda.

Witnesses on that dry January day described the lightning bolt as coming in at a 45 degree angle, striking the shelter.

At the Fraser Coast Regional Council's meeting in Hervey Bay on July 9, Cr Seymour asked for the report to assess the safety of the region's shelters.

He cited the strike in 1997 and asked the CEO to undertake the study.

But not all councillors were happy with Cr Seymour's motion with Chris Loft questioning the real risk.

"We are going to spend the time and resources on this?" Loft questioned.

Councillor Stuart Taylor knows what a lightning strike feels like.

When he was 16, a strike on his home filtered through the light socket and hit him while he was drinking milk.

"I got knocked about 6m, taken to hospital and I was fine," he said.

"It's really hard to recollect and remember - it felt like an incredible surge of adrenaline.

"Everything in your body tenses up."

The council's report was acknowledged, but no improvements will be made to public shelters.

Topics:  fraser coast regional council lightning strike shelter



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