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'Lightning bolt in my hand': N.B. man survives lightning strike while giving daughter's wedding speech

A New Brunswick man said he wasn’t trying to steal anyone’s thunder when he gave a speech at his daughter’s wedding and was struck by lightning.

A single scorch mark on his thumb is the only injury

JP Nadeau hosted his daughter's wedding when he was struck by lightning on Saturday, July 8. (Courtesy Maggy Thomas)

A New Brunswick man said he wasn't trying to steal anyone's thunder when he gave a speech at his daughter's wedding and was struck by lightning.

But it did shock his family, said JP Nadeau.

Luckily, he was unharmed.

"They thought I was going to drop dead," said Nadeau, who hosted his daughter's wedding in his backyard apple orchard in Lower Woodstock on July 8.

"And just as I told my new son-in-law 'You're a lucky guy' – Boom!"

Didn't see the storm

Nadeau said he had his back turned toward the storm while giving his speech, and was unaware of the storm clouds approaching the wedding party.

He said his daughter stood nearby when she saw the lightning strike behind him, shooting a bolt of electricity through his body.

"I had the microphone and the shock jumped into the sound system and my hand just lit up and I saw the spark," he said.

"And I'm looking at my hand and it's all flared up … It was like I was holding a lightning bolt in my hand, it was amazing."

J.P. Nadeau was in the midst of congratulating his daughter and her husband at their wedding over the weekend when he was struck by lightning. 0:50

Nadeau said the strike spooked his family but once everyone realized he was unhurt, the wedding continued. 

"It was a beautiful wedding," said Maggy Thomas, Nadeau's wife.

"But that was pretty terrifying for a second."

Nine Lives

It wasn't Nadeau's first close call.

In 2015, a cruise ship he was working on caught fire near the Falkland Islands.

He and the other passengers were rescued by the British Royal Air Force. 

"I've had lots of brushes with death," said Nadeau. "But death keeps ignoring me."

JP Nadeau said his hand lit up and it was like 'holding a lightning bolt' when he was struck. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

After the lightning strike, Nadeau said he now has a scorch mark on his thumb.

He thinks it's where the electricity jumped in and out of his body.

"But I am fine," he said. "Even my knee actually feels a bit better." 

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.