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Adelaide man Antony Van Der Meer killed by lightning during NT storms

Wednesday January 3, 2018 - 18:04 EDT
ABC licensed image
Antony Van Der Meer worked in retail and once did DJ work for a community radio station. - ABC licensed

Adelaide man Antony Van Der Meer, who was struck and killed by lightning at the popular Kings Canyon site in the Northern Territory, had been carrying a camera tripod which acted as a conductor, police have said.

The 35-year-old man was when two storm fronts moved over Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, about 300 kilometres west of Alice Springs.

Northern Territory police said the tripod acted as a conductor for the bolt and the force knocked other family members to the ground.

The Adelaide man had been on holiday in the Northern Territory with his wife and other family members.

They are now returning home so funeral arrangements can be made.

"We would like to thank everyone who assisted us following this tragedy. The rangers, clinic staff, other tourists and police have been very supportive," the family said in a statement.



Mr Van Der Meer worked in retail and sales jobs, and was also a former presenter and DJ for popular Adelaide community radio station Fresh 92.7.

"He was well-loved at the radio station, one of those guys who was really easy to work with," general manager Troy Sincock said.

"He was also very naturally talented."

The radio station posted tributes on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, saying he had been a part of its radio community for about six years until 2015.



An online fundraising page has also been set up to support the Van Der Meer family.

"Anyone who was lucky enough to call Antony Van Der Meer a friend for the past 35 years knew what a big-hearted, generous and hilarious man he was," a friend wrote on the page.

"He meant so much to so many people, none more so than his beautiful wife Jess."

NT Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary said authorities were called to Kings Canyon by a Parks and Wildlife ranger and faced challenging weather as they dealt with the emergency.

"Weather conditions in the area ... were as a result of ex-tropical cyclone Hilda, with multiple storm fronts," she said.

"Conditions at the time were challenging with heavy rain and waterways experiencing flash flooding."

Police said two other tourists who were in the vicinity supported the distressed family members, who had been about one kilometre from the car park at the popular tourist site when the lightning struck.


- ABC

© ABC 2018

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