Graham gets the all clear

Yachting Monthly photographer Graham Snook walked back into the office this week 20 days after escaping serious injury after a boat test ended in a high speed collision on a photo-shoot off Marseilles in the South of France.

‘I’m lucky to be alive,’ said Graham, who was working for our sister magazine, Motor Boats Monthly.

Graham Snook crash

He was taking pictures of a 42ft power boat when it collided with his photo boat at 35 knots.

The £300,000, 10-tonne sports cruiser smashed through the transom and mounted the aft deck, missing Graham by inches.

Like a true pro, Graham, 35, just kept taking pictures.

‘I was taking photos on a long lens, and the boat was coming straight towards us and was getting too big in the frame, then heard an almighty bang, thud and crash.

‘I thought I was going to die. It was no more than a matter of inches away. Suddenly there was light again and I was so happy to be alive.’

The entire stern section of the photo bat boat was smashed, and the flybridge stairs were torn out. As the boat started sinking, the crew battled to get the boat back into the marina.

Graham Snook crash

As they manoeuvred her into a lifting dock, the engine packed up and she had to be pushed the last few feet.

Graham, said: ‘I had a cut on my face, and on my nose, blood on my hands, and there was broken glass everywhere.’

Paramedics took Graham to hospital where he was given an MRI scan for a suspected broken vertebra. Fortunately he only sustained heavy bruising to his back.

He was discharged after five hours and given painkillers.

He put up a photograph of his shocked expression on the Twitter networking site, but then took it down again fearing it might upset his girlfriend and sailing partner, Kirsty.