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Lightning strikes Coastguard headquarters, but "no-one was in danger"

Maritime and Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Dover
Maritime and Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Dover

No-one was at risk as a result of a lightning strike at Dover Coastguard headquarters at Langdon Cliffs at the weekend, people have been assured.

Emergency engineers were called in to carry out repairs after lightning struck some of the equipment in the early hours of Saturday and damaged the communication system.

Coastal rescue officers went to sites at North Foreland and Fairlight to man radios until the system was back operating again.

Senior watch manager Gordon Wise said lightning strikes were not unusual at the cliff-top control centre.

“If you stick a big building right on top of a 400ft cliff, it is actually a perfect path to ground,” he said.

Usually, it is Meterological Office equipment that is affected, but this time it knocked out some of the radio transmitting equipment as well.

Mr Wise stressed that members of the public and seafarers had not experienced any loss of service and no-one had been placed in any danger.

A “well-rehearsed plan” had been immediately been put into place.

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