NEWS

Ontario woman recovering from lightning strike in Manitoba

08/01/2012 06:34 EDT | Updated 10/01/2012 05:12 EDT
A 23-year-old Ontario woman says she's in good spirits after she survived being struck by lightning while canoeing in a Manitoba river this week.

Corynne McCathie of Innisfil, Ont., says was with six other people, taking part in a Manitoba Pioneer Camp canoe trip on the Bloodvein River, when a major storm blew in on Sunday afternoon.

The group was retreating to safety on a nearby island when McCathie, who is a camp staff member, was hit by lightning while hauling a canoe to shore.

McCathie told CBC News she does not remember the precise moment she was struck, but she remembered having trouble speaking and feeling disconnected from her body.

"I remember waking up and being very disoriented and just seeing my arms in front of me and realizing that I couldn't feel them," she said Tuesday from Winnipeg.

"I saw arms and legs [but] they didn't feel like they were mine, even though they were attached to my body."

McCathie said once she realized she did not have any serious burns, and the feeling was coming back to her limbs, she wanted to let her fellow campers know she was OK.

The camp group sent out an SOS signal just before 7 p.m. CT and RCMP located them using GPS coordinates and through contact they established via satellite phone.

"The fact that they even had this satellite GPS messenger device is certainly, to us, a sign they seemed quite organized," said RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish.

"They were well equipped to deal with adversity."

McCathie was airlifted to the Bloodvein Nursing Station and then sent to a Winnipeg hospital as a precaution, but on Tuesday she said she was feeling good.

"I'm feeling a little stiff, but other than that I'm in good spirits," she said.

A 15-year-old girl who was also holding onto the canoe received an electric shock, but she refused treatment and remained with the camp group, according to RCMP.

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