Mystery woman saves life

EDITORIAL: Great work by mystery life saver

UPDATE 9AM: A woman struck by lightning yesterday remains in a stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Bendigo Health. 

EARLIER: A mystery woman has saved the life of a mother of two struck by lightning at Cairn Curran Reservoir on Wednesday night. 

Mother of two struck by lightning at Cairn Curran Reservoir

Casey Hancock said a woman in her 20s helped resuscitate Simone Newman, 27, who showed no signs of life after lightning struck her about 7.38pm.

Ms Hancock said the woman took control as people rallied to perform CPR and phone triple-0. 

"This woman knew exactly what she was doing," she said. 

"If it wasn't for her direction, Simone wouldn't have survived. 

If it wasn't for her direction, Simone wouldn't have survived. - Casey Hancock

"Once Simone began breathing, the woman ran off.

"We don't know who she was or where she was from."

Ms Hancock said two families and their friends had planned to take a speedboat out on the reservoir on Wednesday when it began raining. 

"We had only just gotten the boat into the water when the lightning began," she said. "I was in the boat and I felt a zap.

"I didn't see the sky light up or hear anything, just the zap.

"I looked at a friend and thought, 'we have to get the boat out of the water'.

"Then I saw Simone who was collapsed on the floor."

Ms Hancock said her friend did not have a pulse. 

"Simone's eyes were open. 

I thought she was dead.

"Everyone was yelling to do CPR.

"I went to be with Simone's three-year-old and five-year-old to keep them calm."

Ms Hancock said people sheltered and kept Ms Newman warm using a tarp and blankets while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. 

"She was responsive and talking when an ambulance arrived," Ms Hancock said. 

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said Ms Newman was taken to Bendigo hospital. 

Bendigo Health intensivist Dr Emma Broadfield said the patient was lucky to be alive. 

When the Bendigo Advertiser went to press, she was in a stable condition and receiving ongoing treatment and care.

Meanwhile, fire crews were kept busy on Wednesday night due to a band of lightning strikes passing through the region. 

A fire which broke out on Harcourt-North Road in Harcourt about 7pm burnt through about 10 hectares of grass and scrub. 

Operations manager Craig Brittain said about 18 resources managed to contain the fire.

Mr Brittain said a number of the fires in central Victoria were the result of lightning strikes.

"We have had a number of fires started by lightning which has put a strain on fire crews," he said. 

Friday is a day of Total Fire Ban. 

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