Snook: 'I'm lucky to be alive'

Yachting Monthly photographer Graham Snook escaped 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. 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 bank, thud and crash.

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

Snooks shocked after the smash

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.
Graham added: ‘I feel lucky to be alive, everyone who’s seen the photo boat can’t believe that no one was seriously injured. If  I had been standing in a different place I probably wouldn’t be here.’
Graham and Carl Richardson, editor of MBM, who was ashore at the time of the accident, are on their way back to London.