10th August 2020. The National Coastwatch Institution station at Worms Head near Rhossili in South Wales has been struck by lightning several times during this week's severe thunderstorms causing serious damage.
The watch station at Worm's Head was hit multiple times on Monday, at the start of a week in which Wales is bracing itself for more thunderstorms and flash flooding.
Deputy Station Manager, Tom Scrimgeour, was on duty during the thunderstorm and described what happened. "The thunderstorm came in from the Bristol area and the strikes happened between 11.30am and midday. It started to get really bad then it started coming closer, the lightning was striking all around us. We had a series of four loud cracks, which were strikes on the building so you just have to stand there as there's nothing you can do. Later on, about 1.30pm when my colleague took over, they had another strike which knocked the weather station out." He said that if they were unable to repair the weather machine, a new one would cost the charity around £1,000. "It's up and working but it's not working correctly. We may be in a position where we will have to get a new one, but we will try and get this one repaired," Tom added.
A statement published on NCI Worm's Head Facebook page on Monday read: "Unfortunately our lookout at Worm's Head was struck by lightning twice today. Although the Watch keepers were able to switch just about everything off, we think serious damage was caused to our weather machine." The statement added that, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, donations from the public, the stations only source of income, had been severely depleted.
The National Coastwatch Institution is a voluntary organisation established in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores.