Shepherd struck by lightning

By Austin King of the Gisborne Herald

Shepherd Mike Jenkins was struck by lightning on a farm near Wairoa on Tuesday. Photo / Christine Cornege
Shepherd Mike Jenkins was struck by lightning on a farm near Wairoa on Tuesday. Photo / Christine Cornege

Shepherd Mike Jenkins says he has used up five of his nine lives after being struck by lightning on a farm near Wairoa.

The 58-year-old has blurry vision in his left eye and was left with a hole "the size of a one-cent piece" in his heel after the lightning strike on Tuesday evening.

Mr Jenkins was working on a fence line on a Mangaruhe West property at Marumaru when a storm hit.

He said he heard a "snap" about 20m away.

When he reached out to pick up his metal rammer, he heard a "pzzt" sound before slamming to the ground.

"I woke up and I felt like someone had booted me in the chest," he said.

"My eyes were sore and I could hear my dogs yelping not far from me."

At the time Mr Jenkins was wearing heavy gumboots.

It might be a different story if he had worn another pair of workboots.

"My gumboots saved me, I think."

He was sure one of his dogs got "whacked" by a lightning bolt as well, because it kept yelping.

He drove back to his boss's home where he had a cup of tea.

"When I walked in, my boss said to me I looked like a ghost," he said.

He was admitted to Wairoa Hospital for observation.

Mr Jenkins went to see an eye specialist in Napier yesterday. He was hoping his vision would be OK but for the moment he did not want anyone to "fuss" over him.

- APNZ

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