News

Campers in shock after freak lightning strike kills man

A memorial to lightning victim Kenny Dixon who was killed last Friday when he was struck by lightning on the beach at Inskip Pt.
A memorial to lightning victim Kenny Dixon who was killed last Friday when he was struck by lightning on the beach at Inskip Pt. Craig Warhurst

WATCHING Sunshine Coast man Kenny Dixon get struck and killed by lightning is the most horrific thing Gympie man David Grieve has ever seen.

Mr Grieve was camping at Inskip Pt with a group of eight Gympie friends on Friday afternoon when tragedy struck.

Despite major storms in Gympie and a front passing over Fraser Island they said the afternoon was surprisingly calm at Inskip Pt and there was no sign lightning would hit the beach.

Just before the strike, two of the group, Simon Cassar and Michael Dodt, had been down beside the water with about 150 other people watching a fisherman try to land a large stingray.

When a few spits of rain started to fall they ran back to the camp, past Mr Dixon who was walking up the beach with his son Jason, to wind up the windows in the vehicles.

As they got to the camp the lightning hit about 30m in front of their tents.

The noise was like a bomb going off and most of the group hit the ground thinking they had been struck.

"It was panic stations," Mr Dodt said.

"And then Dave yelled out, 'It just hit that guy.'"

Mr Grieve was sitting under cover facing the beach when he saw a "thick bit of lightning come out of nowhere" and hit Mr Dixon.

"It was about 50cm wide," Mr Grieve said.

Mr Dixon fell straight forward into the sand beside the water.

His 11-year-old son, who was walking about 4-5m in front of Mr Dixon, was thrown another 5m through the air.

He survived the strike.

Another of the group, Jake Buhle, said the flash was that bright it burnt into his vision and the cracking and fizzing of electricity seemed to last for about 10 seconds

Mr Grieve got on his mobile and rang 000 while Mr Cassar and a girl from the campsite ran down to check on Mr Dixon.

When they got there, they knew Mr Dixon wasn't going to make it.

Mr Cassar said he clothes had been blown off, he had no hair and blood was trailing into the water.

"There was nothing we could do," he said.

A beach memorial to Mr Dixon has been set up in front of the group's campsite at the site of the strike.

Gympie Times

Topics:  gympie, lightning strike, sunshine coast



Pet still missing after family of five flees burning home

Jeanette Gerhard takes in the destruction caused by Friday night's house fire on Rifle Range Rd.

Jeanette Gerhard has described how her family fled a house fire

Kick the Kilos Challenge off and running for week two

Tanya Hehir and the Gympie Hash House Harriers are just one of the groups getting active around town, running as a group every Monday night.

WE'RE NOW two weeks into the 12-week Kick the Kilos challenge.

Get 'Naked' in Pomona as Eleanor McEvoy tours

Irish singer songwriter Eleanour McEvoy.

Irish singer songwriter to perform in Pomona

Local Partners

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

Growing up is tough at the Heart of Gold Film Festival

ALL GROWN UP: A still from the Heart of Gold Festival feature "Girl Asleep”.

EXCITEMENT is ramping up for the Heart of Gold Film Festival

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd tie the knot

Josh Bolin marries in front of close friends and family

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state