Teen Struck By Lightning While Bass Fishing

Written by Dave Mercer on May 14, 2010

Christian Neal, 17, was fishing with his father, Gabe, on a Missouri lake last summer when he was struck by lightning.
Article by James Chad Hanna courtesy of http://www.fieldandstream.com

MY DAD AND I knew it was going to rain that day, but we didn’t think much of it. The storm came up quick. It started pouring, and we put on our rain jackets. Before long, the rain stopped and the clouds broke. But then we saw lightning. The thunder rumbled closer, and I looked over at my dad and said, “That doesn’t sound good.” We kept fishing our way back to the dock. I had actually just caught a small largemouth. I released the fish and went to cast. That’s when everything went black.

I was launched backward and landed in the backseat between the two consoles. When I came to, at first I didn’t feel any pain. I just felt cold. Everything looked like a negative—colors were different, nothing looked like it should. It smelled like an electrical fire, the most vile smell. It still haunts me.

I was in and out of consciousness. Then when I really came to, I felt like I was on fire. Everything was in slow motion. My muscles were all contracted and I couldn’t move my legs. I didn’t know where my dad was. I leaned over and saw a boat coming someone yelling that they were coming to get us. One of the men on the boat, andy, turned out to be an Iraq war veteran. He and his father had been fishing close by, and they pulled my dad out of the water. Andy kept talking to me. His dad called 911.

In the ambulance I heard one of the paramedics say to the driver: “Hit it as fast as you can on the straightaways.” Then everything started getting far away, everything was echoing and I thought, This is it. I’m going to die. I remember the paramedic grabbing this box and he pushed a yellow button that said shock. Then I was out.

I was in the hospital for about a week, but the only scars i have left are on my hand and lower wrist. It just kind of looks like a birthmark. It’s a miracle that we’re both all right—that the lightning didn’t just rip us apart.”

Wow just goes to show you how tough those Shimano reels are!

  • http://fishingcanada.info/ Fishinman

    this should make everyone think twice about fishing when it is stormy, (no matter how low the chances of getting hit are)