Natasha Kaplinsky ‘constantly cried’ for months after ‘biblical’ boat explosion left daughter, 8, with facial burns

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NATASHA Kaplinsky has revealed how she was traumatised for months after a “biblical” boat explosion left her daughter with severe facial burns.

The newsreader, 46, told how she would constantly burst into tears following the horrific ordeal on a family holiday in Corfu last year.

 Natasha was also hurt in the explosion on the family's boat

Rex Features

Natasha was also hurt in the explosion on the family’s boat
 Natasha's daughter Angelica, pictured with the star in 2016
Natasha’s daughter Angelica, pictured with the star in 2016

“I was on a burning boat with everybody I loved, my parents, my husband, my children,” she told The Times.

“I couldn’t leave that memory. It wouldn’t leave me.”

Natasha, her husband Justin Bower, 45, son Arlo, daughter Angelica and Natasha’s parents were all rocked by the blast aboard the Plumbago Go.

The boat exploded into a “fireball” last June after a leak in the boat’s fuel pipe while they were three miles offshore.

Angelica – who was eight at the time of the accident – bore the brunt of the blast and her condition was so serious that she was flown back to the UK.

Journalist Natasha said she could not bear to see her daughter suffering in agony as her scars slowly healed.

“I was incapacitated by tears. I just couldn’t get a grip,” she said.

 Natasha Kaplinsky fought back tears as she recounted the moment a boat exploded leaving her daughter with severe facial burns

ITV

Natasha Kaplinsky fought back tears as she recounted the moment a boat exploded leaving her daughter with severe facial burns

Revealing what happened, she previously told Loose Women: “Something terrible went wrong on the boat after about 15 minutes. It was long enough for us to be very far away from anywhere.

“There was a leak in the fuel pipe and the boat stuttered and stopped. We were really miles away from anywhere.

“My husband made a phone call and got some advice about what to do and was advised to tun the key to see what was happening with the pressure.

“It was like a James Bond moment. The whole boat just blew.”

Natasha, her dad and Angelica were the most injured in the blast.

She continued: “We were badly burnt at the time and we were in the water for 45 minutes before anyone found us, which was a blessing in a way because the scars were much less.

“There’s nothing worse than being a mum and seeing your child injured.”

Natasha admitted her thoughts flashed ahead to her daughter on her wedding day as they waited for help in the water.

The recovery process was a long one, with the star undergoing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) treatment.

She said: “That was in a moment of desperation for me because I just couldn’t stop crying. I felt I needed to be there for my kids and obviously I wanted to help my parents but there was so much to worry about. It was difficult to focus on something. For me, I just knew I needed to stop crying.

 Natasha's five-bed mansion on the island of Corfu is called Plumbago — like the boat
Natasha’s five-bed mansion on the island of Corfu is called Plumbago — like the boat

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

Angelica is currently going through the same treatment.

And initially, she wouldn’t allow her daughter to look in the mirror.

She said: “We took all the mirrors off the walls in the house and for three months we had a race to see who could grow their eyelashes back the fastest.”

The group were rescued by fishermen who helped to put out the flames and towed them to shore.

A source said at the time: “At first the girl was rushed to hospital in Corfu Town with burns to her face and hands.

“Her mother and grandfather were treated at a private clinic. It was then decided to fly them home.”

 The chain of events
The chain of events

It is thought the damage to the boat was only superficial despite the blast.

The source added: “The explosion caused about £350 worth of damage.

“They had obviously not been taking care of the boat as a service should have prevented the problems.

“A petrol leak caused the engine to break down and triggered the blast.”

 The stricken boat was towed to Kouloura harbour after blast

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The stricken boat was towed to Kouloura harbour after blast

Natasha owns a five-bed mansion on the island called Plumbago — like the boat.

Corfu Port Authority confirmed: “Three people were injured after a fire on a boat.

“The vessel suffered a mechanical failure which caused a fire in the engine room, which was immediately extinguished by the people on the boat.”

 Natasha and husband Justin Bower, 45

PA:Press Association

Natasha and husband Justin Bower, 45

Natasha won the first series of Strictly in 2004. In 2007 Channel 5 made her Britain’s highest-paid newsreader by luring her from the BBC in a £1million-a-year deal.

Months later she fell pregnant with Arlo. She turned down a £500,000 magazine deal to sell images of the boy, instead distributing them for free.

In 2012 she told how she keeps her children grounded by telling them about a South African boy with HIV she met on a Save the Children trip.


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