One man was aboard a 14m catamaran which was struck by lightning early this morning off Great Keppel Island.
One man was aboard a 14m catamaran which was struck by lightning early this morning off Great Keppel Island.

Early-morning shock for elderly yachtie off GKI

AN ELDERLY yachtsman was left extremely shaken after his 14m catamaran was struck by lightning off Great Keppel Island early this morning.

He was the only one aboard the vessel, which was anchored off Long Beach.

The dive boat from the island went to his assistance, taking him from the catamaran to the settlement to recover.

All electronics on the catamaran were knocked out by the strike.

At 5.30am, the yachtsman used his mobile phone to call Coast Guard Yeppoon Flotilla Commander Jim Warren to ask for assistance as the catamaran was exposed to increasing south-easterly winds.

READ: Water slides near lightning strike at school

Coast Guard vessel Yeppoon Rescue One, skippered by James Fleming, left Rosslyn Bay at 6.45am.

The yachtsman was picked up from Fisherman’s Beach and taken to the catamaran, which was then towed to a sheltered anchorage at the southern end of Fisherman’s Beach.

The yachtsman declined the offer of transport to seek medical attention and remained on his vessel.

Yeppoon Rescue One returned to Rosslyn Bay Harbour at 9.20am.

Mr Warren issued these key reminders to mariners:

  • Check that you have current weather forecasts.
  • Check your vessel is prepared for severe weather.
  • Seek safe anchorage, especially when extreme weather is expected.
  • Ensure that your phone is charged in case radio communication is not possible.


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