Lifeguard back at work after shocking Sunday

July 28, 2008 5:29:35 PM PDT
A Cape May lifeguard survives a jolt of lightning. The guard was working at Colton Court Beach, near the intersection of Patterson and Beach Avenue yesterday when a storm rolled in.

"It's a great job, why not come back? I love it."

That might explain why Jack Lindenman was back on the stand today after lighting knocked him down around 1:15 yesterday afternoon. Lindenman and his veteran partner Ralph Atwell were helping get people off the beach, there was a lot of rain, but no thunder... and then the strike.

Atwell tells us, "It was so close, and so intense, I thought someone had to have been hit by lightning. So I was scanning the crowd."

Then, Atwell looked behind the stand and saw his partner.

Lindenman recalls what happened next, "I was on the ground. I don't remember anything in-between then. The next thing I remember is my partner asking me if I was OK, and I said, 'I definitely got hit.'"

"He was holding his head, and he looked dazed and confused. But he never lost consciousness in the whole thing," said Atwell.

Lindenman says, "There was a lot of pressure on the top of my head, like... somebody whacked me on the top of the head. And I had this weird, metally, metallic rust taste in my mouth."

Beach goers say the storm came up fast. Luckily, no one on the beach was seriously hurt.

Jack Lindeman was checked out at the hospital and released, but while he was there lightning hit the hospital. Knocking out the lights momentarily until generators kicked in. Doctors wondered if the black cloud was following him.

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