A sports reporter says he feels ‘lucky to be alive’ after a jet ski crash while holidaying in Thailand.
Herts and Essex Observer journalist David Rimmer suffered bruised ribs and injuries to his leg and a swollen ankle when he collided with a stationary speedboat at Patong Beach in Phuket.
The 50-year-old, who lives in Hertford, claimed he was set out onto the sea with no proper training when he found himself in difficulty.
Having lost control of the jet ski, he is now warning people of the risks of partaking in dangerous activities abroad after returning to England over the weekend.
“When I put the throttle on it was stop-starting and then suddenly got going. It went really quickly and before I knew what was happening, I was going towards the shore,” he told the Herts and Essex Observer.
“I was approaching all these people and I veered around them and hit the boat. No-one else was hurt, which is the most important thing.”
David was helped by two Australian nurses, who happened to be on the beach, and was taken to hospital to be checked over.
But he was then questioned by police in relation to the damage to the boat and the jet ski and was ordered to pay 250,000 Thai baht, the equivalent of about £4,700.
David managed to negotiate this down to 200,000 Thai baht (£3,700) but said the incident added to the stress.
The crash happened on the third day of the holiday but David said he was determined not to let it ruin the trip
“I managed to go on two boat trips and a kayak and I had a lot of massages. I went to a Buddhist temple. I tried to make something good out of a bad situation,” he added.
“The most important thing is I didn’t kill anyone or hurt anyone and I lived to tell the tale.
“You shouldn’t do sports unless you are very adept and I’m not. It’s a lesson learnt.”
David’s friend, Martin Beedell, witnessed the crash.
“He was out of control. He didn’t know what he was doing. To avoid the swimmers he went into the speedboat and to save their lives he nearly killed himself,” he said.
“He hit the speedboat at 20 or 25mph. At first I didn’t realise it was David, it was all so fast. I saw a man walking along the beach and then I twigged that it was him. It was just horrendous. He took a bad hiding.
“It was amazing that he missed everyone considering that he didn’t know how to negotiate the jet ski and a miracle that he saved his own life.”