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  1. #1
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    Default Struck by lightning

    We're on a 3 month tour of Kruger, my wife and I in our Caracal caravan towed by our 2015 D4d Fortuner. It started on 3 Aug and is due to end 3 Nov. On Sunday morning 10 Oct we were struck by a bolt of lightening. My wife was struck to the ground, I was shaken like a rag doll, our Fortuner was put out of action and damage done to the caravan. It was one hell of an experience when you come face to face with the possibility of death in a flash. Oh, and another lady was knocked sensless in the ablution block. The insurance company is trucking the car back to George for repairs and giving us a loan vehicle to tow our caravan back. We're camped right next to the water hole at Punda where it all happened.
    The extention cords, two of them were ruptured in the middle, between the plugs on either end. The car had a terrible smell of burning insulation and sadly was anchored to the point I parked it. The garage computer shows that the car's computer/s are u/s as are some of the peripheral equipment like alternator, radio, and many of the controls like locks etc. The drivers mirror took a direct hit so not much left of it.
    The management at Punda has been absolutely incredible with a special shout out for Garth, the manager and Michael the duty manager. They ran around helping to find freezer space and re-arrange bookings etc. Every day usually Michael but sometimes Garth call round to enguire as to our needs. Sadly our 3 month Kruger visit is coming to an end soon but will always stand out in our memories as our holiday with a narrow escape.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Glad you're both ok. Stuff will be replaced. Must say, not sure id want that tuna back after that. May never know what system was impacted until too late.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Wow! What a story. I'm so glad both of you are OK. Amazing that you are.

    Hope your next Kruger holiday excludes a narrow escape story.
    Aristotle wrote; ''Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives. Choice, not chance, determines your destiny''

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Davian74 View Post
    We're on a 3 month tour of Kruger, my wife and I in our Caracal caravan towed by our 2015 D4d Fortuner. It started on 3 Aug and is due to end 3 Nov. On Sunday morning 10 Oct we were struck by a bolt of lightening. My wife was struck to the ground, I was shaken like a rag doll, our Fortuner was put out of action and damage done to the caravan. It was one hell of an experience when you come face to face with the possibility of death in a flash. Oh, and another lady was knocked sensless in the ablution block. The insurance company is trucking the car back to George for repairs and giving us a loan vehicle to tow our caravan back. We're camped right next to the water hole at Punda where it all happened.
    The extention cords, two of them were ruptured in the middle, between the plugs on either end. The car had a terrible smell of burning insulation and sadly was anchored to the point I parked it. The garage computer shows that the car's computer/s are u/s as are some of the peripheral equipment like alternator, radio, and many of the controls like locks etc. The drivers mirror took a direct hit so not much left of it.
    The management at Punda has been absolutely incredible with a special shout out for Garth, the manager and Michael the duty manager. They ran around helping to find freezer space and re-arrange bookings etc. Every day usually Michael but sometimes Garth call round to enguire as to our needs. Sadly our 3 month Kruger visit is coming to an end soon but will always stand out in our memories as our holiday with a narrow escape.
    Eeisch, sorry, hectic experience, happy that you guys escaped harm. It's trite to say it, but stuff can be replaced.

    Kinda kicks that whole Faraday Cage theory in the teeth a little, unless one of those mains cables was connected to the electrics of the car. Given that someone else further away was also felled, sounds like it could have been a direct strike to ground, then into the van and car via electrical cables?
    Nemo me impune lacessit

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Glad to hear you are both alive!
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Wow you guys are lucky to be able to tell the story. Glad to hear you are okay.
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Eeisch, sorry, hectic experience, happy that you guys escaped harm. It's trite to say it, but stuff can be replaced.

    Kinda kicks that whole Faraday Cage theory in the teeth a little, unless one of those mains cables was connected to the electrics of the car. Given that someone else further away was also felled, sounds like it could have been a direct strike to ground, then into the van and car via electrical cables?
    Mmmm....
    But where they in the car and doors closed?

    Happy you're not seriously injured.
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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Sorry, not enough detail. We weren't in the car or the caravan. We were under the awning making a cup of tea. I think the lightening struck the water hole?? But then how did the car's mirror take a hit too? Insurance is keeping the claim open till all the issues are sorted. I want to keep the Tuna it's only has 70k km oan in spotless condition.
    Thanks for all the supportive comments.

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Davian74 View Post
    Sorry, not enough detail. We weren't in the car or the caravan. We were under the awning making a cup of tea. I think the lightening struck the water hole?? But then how did the car's mirror take a hit too? Insurance is keeping the claim open till all the issues are sorted. I want to keep the Tuna it's only has 70k km oan in spotless condition.
    Thanks for all the supportive comments.
    If lightning caused electrical issues on Fortuner, I am not sure I want it back. Short of complete harness replacement.

    Which way was mirror pointing to in relation to the water hole?
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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    The car was with its backside to the water hole. They have included the possibility of a new harness in the "worst case scenario" quote.

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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Holy smoke, glad you guys are OK
    Donít blame yourself over past mistakes. Itís like driving down the N1 while looking in the rear view mirror only.

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Amazing story. Greatful that you folks are OK. There isnt much that can survive a lightning strike. You were blessed!
    Johan Swanepoel

    "Nkabe ke ngwana wa morago"

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  19. #13
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Davian74 View Post
    Sorry, not enough detail. We weren't in the car or the caravan. We were under the awning making a cup of tea. I think the lightening struck the water hole?? But then how did the car's mirror take a hit too? Insurance is keeping the claim open till all the issues are sorted. I want to keep the Tuna it's only has 70k km oan in spotless condition.
    Thanks for all the supportive comments.
    The mirror might have been the exit point and not the hit point


    Good you guys are okay
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  21. #14
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Davian74 View Post
    Sorry, not enough detail. We weren't in the car or the caravan. We were under the awning making a cup of tea. I think the lightening struck the water hole?? But then how did the car's mirror take a hit too? Insurance is keeping the claim open till all the issues are sorted. I want to keep the Tuna it's only has 70k km oan in spotless condition.
    Thanks for all the supportive comments.
    I'm googling madly, so the research is as good as the ranking by Zuck, but it appears that when lightning hits water is disperses across the surface in all directions. That could explain the multiple hits. Electricity is an unpredictable swine, your case is evidence enough. Good luck resurrecting the Tuna, I can understand the reason, hope it works out. Check with your insurance how long they'll consider claims for electrical damage. It might change your mind.
    Nemo me impune lacessit

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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Wow, you are very lucky people, glad you are fine.
    You mentioned a lady in the ablutions was also effected, so it must have been running threw ground.

    For interest sake can you remember whether you or your wife was touching any metal part of the van at the time, sitting on metal chairs, and wearing shoes since it sounds like the 2 of you were close together, but yet effected quite differently?

    From what I understand about lightning, the exit point on the Fortuner where it tried returning to ground again must have been the side mirror, that's probably why it's totally destroyed.

    Was there a storm at the time or was this a freak lightning strike out of nowhere on a clear sunny day?

    Personally I won't want the Fortuner back unless they replace every single piece of wiring and all electronic equipment in it, radio, ECU, all harnesses etc. which will probably be one heck of a job.
    The trailer wiring will be easier to replace and shouldn't even be that expensive compared to the Fortuner.
    Last edited by bigboy529; 2021/10/23 at 07:46 PM.
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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Considering the amount of complex electronics in modern vehicles and the severity of the hit I'd not be terribly optimistic about future reliability.

    But considering what the current market is like for a mint 2hnd Fortuner vs what you'll get paid out you certainly are between a rock and a hard place.

    Either way it's great to hear that neither you nor your wife were seriously injured.
    Last edited by Skylark; 2021/10/23 at 07:41 PM.

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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    I'm googling madly, so the research is as good as the ranking by Zuck, but it appears that when lightning hits water is disperses across the surface in all directions. That could explain the multiple hits. Electricity is an unpredictable swine, your case is evidence enough. Good luck resurrecting the Tuna, I can understand the reason, hope it works out. Check with your insurance how long they'll consider claims for electrical damage. It might change your mind.
    Precisely what I am alluding to...
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  28. #18
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    .....via electrical cables?
    I think you are onto something here.

    Lightning blew the door off between my neighbour and his neighbour.
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  30. #19
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Hectic, glad you all survived to tell the story.

    Must have been one hell of a scary experience.

    we get bombarded regularly where we live and couple of direct hits a year. Creates a sort of mild PTSD reaction, not only with the dogs, every time a big storm approaches.


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  31. #20
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    Default Re: Struck by lightening

    Both my wife and I had substantial rubber sole shoes on. I suspect that is what helped us. We are grateful to be alive and I agree that stuff/things can be replaced. We weren't touching any metal at the time but the lady in the ablutions was touching the tap. Someone came in and found her on the floor.

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