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Natasha Kaplinsky: We removed mirrors from our house after boating accident

Natasha Kaplinsky recounts family boating accident (Ian West/PA)
Natasha Kaplinsky recounts family boating accident (Ian West/PA)

Natasha Kaplinsky has said she removed mirrors from her house after she and her family were involved in a boat explosion last year, leaving them with severe burns.

The broadcaster also said she is undergoing a type of therapy used for extreme trauma as she spoke for the first time about the incident, which happened during a holiday in Corfu in June.

The former BBC newsreader was with husband Justin Bower, their children Arlo and Angelica, and her parents off the coast of the Greek island when a leak in the fuel pipe caused the boat they were on to blow up.

Kaplinsky became emotional during an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women, telling the panel that she was trying not to cry.

She said: “Something terrible went wrong with the boat after 15 mins of being on it, it was long enough for us to be very far away from anywhere.

“There was a leak, we now know, in the fuel pipe, and the boat stuttered and stopped.

“My husband made a phone call to get some advice and he was advised to turn the key to see what was happening with the pressure.”

She added: “It was just like a James Bond moment, the whole boat just blew.”

They were forced to tread water for 45 minutes before they were rescued, which Kaplinsky said was a “blessing”, as it lessened the scarring from the burns.

Kaplinsky said that seeing her daughter Angelica suffering was one of the worst parts of the experience.

“There is nothing worse than being a mum and seeing your child injured,” she said.

“I just kept on looking at her and her face, because that’s what was injured for her and her arm, and thinking about her wedding day. It was just one of the moments where you think, ‘I just can’t bear it.’”

She said that she and Angelica competed to see who could grow their eyelashes and eyebrows back first.

She added: “It was almost better that we were both injured in the same way. If it just her, I couldn’t have bared that, just to watch her go through it.

“We took all the mirrors away from the walls in the house and just stayed home for three months to see whose eyelashes and eyebrows would grow back first.”

The former Strictly Come Dancing champion said she has since undergone eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment, because she “needed to stop crying”.

“EMDR is used a lot for extreme trauma and for war veterans as well,” she said.

“For me, it was a very helpful process where I was holding onto these buzzers. It helped to move the trauma away from the immediacy of what was happening in front of me, where we were on a burning boat… to a bit further away in my mind.

“It’s still very hard to talk about.

“My daughter is having EMDR at the moment.

“It is so helpful but a very, very painful process.

“Hopefully it will pay off in the long run, we have got to deal with it now.”

Kaplinsky said she and her family are grateful to have survived the accident, adding: “It gives you an appreciation of how precious each day is.”

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