Lightning snap leads to VIP tour

Elisha Harvey takes a selfie with friends Samantha Hall and Charley Campbell, all 15, as they take a tour of the power station. Inset: her photograph

Elisha Harvey takes a selfie with friends Samantha Hall and Charley Campbell, all 15, as they take a tour of the power station. Inset: her photograph

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A lucky snap on her iPhone earned a Douglas teenager a tour round the capital’s power station.

Elisha Harvey, who is 15, was experimenting taking photographs from her bedroom window in Springfield Avenue during the recent storms when she struck lucky with a lightning strike.

Elisha’s father Kevin said: ‘She hadn’t had the iPhone very long because she got it for her birthday. Her bedroom window looks out towards the power station and Douglas Head, so it was perfect for taking the pictures.’

As soon as Elisha posted the picture on the social media website Facebook it attracted huge attention, not just from residents but from the power station itself.

‘The picture shows a fork of lightning hitting both the Carnane mast and the power station,’ Mr Harvey said.

‘She was contacted by the power station who wanted a copy of the photograph to hang on the wall in their control room.

‘I don’t think they even knew they had been hit by the lightning until they saw the photograph. I think it came as a complete surprise to them.’

Elisha, a pupil at Ballakermeen High School in Douglas, was able to take two friends with her for the visit which took them to all the main parts of the power station.

She also had the chance to light up Douglas when they asked her to throw the switch to operate this year’s TT illuminations.

‘In fact all they do is use a touch screen on the computer so it’s not as dramatic as it sounds,’ Mr Harvey added.

The guided tour explained how everything works and gave information on the power lines that come in to the island from across the sea.

‘We got to go into the control room where it all happens,’ he said.

‘It’s a big computer room really with people sitting in front of computer screens controlling the whole of the island.

‘We even walked through a metal tunnel that links two of the buildings and that was directly under where the strike took place.’

Mr Harvey said the visit had been a great experience and his daughter and her friends had loved it, adding: ‘She likes photograhy and art so she would like to find some way of linking them together.’

Isle of Man Newspapers’ chief photographer John Maddrell said lightning was hard to photograph not just because of exposure times but because of its unpredictability.

‘It was a once in a lifetime photo really,’ Mr Harvey said.

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