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Slippers save lucky Greg from lightening

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 10, 2013

Greg Slater outside his house in Higher Porthpean, Devon, where he was struck by a lightning bolt

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A father-of-two who was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm had his life saved – thanks to his rubber-soled slippers.

Lucky Greg Slater, 43, was hit by the massive bolt after going outside his home to check a leaking gutter.

He went out during a passing storm carrying an umbrella which was suddenly struck by lightning.

The average bolt measures one billion volts, which went through his body but did not "earth" – thanks to the rubber sole on his slippers.

Greg was unaware at first he had been zapped until his shocked wife Allison described seeing him being showered from head to toe in white sparks. Doctors have told him he would have been killed outright – but he was saved by the thick rubber sole on his slippers.

Greg, a professional services manager of Porthpean near St Austell, Cornwall, said: "We've been having problems with our gutters leaking during the recent heavy rain so I popped outside to check on them.

"I grabbed my umbrella and ran outside and was leaning back trying to inspect the guttering when a hole opened up in the dark grey sky before I saw an almighty flash and bang. I was rooted to the spot momentarily and ran back inside to see my wife. I had no idea I had been struck until my I saw her looking very shocked.

"She had been watching me from the kitchen window and had seen me showered from head to toe in what she described as white sparks.

"She said the lightening had gone all around my umbrella and down to the ground.

"I feel I'm incredibly lucky to have survived unscathed. I didn't think too much about going outside during the storm, I was just thinking about the practicalities, but thank God I had my slippers on. I'll definitely think twice next time I head out in a thunderstorm."

A person's chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 700,000 and around 10% of incidents are fatal.

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