July 31 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 19, 2014
A Huntingdon CB radio enthusiast was moments away from being electrocuted when a lightning bolt hit his aerial and blew up his equipment.
Robin Tester, of Bliss Close, Hinchingbrooke, told The Hunts Post he had been chatting to friends over the radio at about 11pm last Monday evening (June 9) when a thunderstorm neared the town. He turned off his radio and got himself a cup of coffee.
The 51-year-old then used his radio to warn a friend of the impending storm, turned the set off again and within moments the lightning bolt had struck the aerial in his garden, about two metres away from his house.
“It happened on the second flash of lightning. There was a loud bang and then the wire in my room and radio were on fire,” Mr Tester said. “I threw my coffee over the set and unplugged the radio from the wall. If it happened when I was using the radio, I’m sure it would have been the end of me.
He added: “It destroyed the radio, the microphone and parts of the aerial. There was a lightning arrester plug on the aerial which should have stopped it, but that was destroyed too.
“Luckily the wire travels underground between the aerial and the house so it has earthed some of the flash. If it hadn’t, it would have been worse.
“The wire got so hot that it has even burnt a hole in the air vent it travels through to get into the flat.
“If I didn’t have my coffee to hand then the fire could have spread and the whole flat could have gone up.”
Mr Tester said he has had to replace his radio and the wire, as well as parts of the aerial which snapped when it was struck.
In July last year, four homes in St Neots and a lorry near Cambourne were struck by lightning.