Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky has revealed she and her nine-year-old daughter are undergoing a therapy used on war veterans in the wake of a terrifying boating accident that left them both with severe burns.
The 46-year-old broadcaster fought back tears as she recounted the story on Loose Women and said that she removed all of the mirrors from the family home while they recovered from their facial injuries.
Kaplinsky was holidaying in Corfu last summer with her husband Justin Bower and children – Arlo, nine, and Angelica, eight – when it became apparent there was a fault with the boat.
The craft stuttered and stopped, having suffered what is now known to be a fuel leak.
Kaplinsky said: “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.
“It was just like a James Bond moment, the whole boat just blew.”
The family members were forced to tread water for 45 minutes before they were discovered, but Kaplinsky said that time was a “blessing” as the effects of the water meant their scarring was not as severe.
The former BBC newsreader said it was the damage done to her daughter, Angelica, that upset her the most.
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.'”
Kaplinsky said both her and her daughter are now undergoing eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment to help with the trauma – a treatment regularly used to help war veterans.
“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,” said Kaplinsky.
She added: “It is so helpful but a very, very painful process.”
Kaplinsky was awarded an OBE in 2017 for her services to the Holocaust Commission and she is also a vice president of the Royal Society for Public Health alongside actor Michael Sheen.