A devastated dad is going to miss his son’s wedding tomorrow after a freak boating accident in Ibiza.
John Doherty, 64, of Elland, was celebrating his son Alex Doherty’s stag do on the Mediterranean sunshine island with 19 other people when the boat he and his friend Bryan Webb, 73, president-elect at Halifax and Huddersfield Union of Golf Clubs, were travelling on crashed into a “huge wave” sending the pair bouncing into the air twice.
Both were badly injured.
Bryan, who is in a back brace for the next five weeks, said: “John and I were sitting at the front of a boat when a larger boat created a heavy wash, causing us to crash.
“We were thrown in the air and bounced up again before landing on our backs. It all happened very quickly.
After the crash, it was obvious that John was struggling with his back and we were both taken to different hospitals.”
The accident had happened when a speed boat travelling quickly changed the wave movement sending bigger waves towards the two boats.
The one that crashed was carrying eight people, with the leading boat carrying the 12 other stag party revellers, as the - travelling from San Antonio to a restaurant in Formentera.
The boat driver infront had turned the engines off when he saw the waves but the driver of the boat carrying John and Bryan had failed to stop and had crashed.
Alex, who was on the boat in front did not see the accident, but when he realised what had happened he rushed onto the other boat.
“My brother and I were very concerned when we saw him because he was lying there and as pale as a sheet and had just had a heart attack last year.
“We spent the whole day in the hospital and at 8pm a doctor handed my dad a sheet to sign in Spanish and basically said if he didn’t sign it he could have been paralysed. It was very scary.”
Widower John later underwent a five hour operation to relieve the pressure on the six broken vertebrae in his back.
He was flown back to England by an Air Ambulance 11 days later and had another operation on Monday but still can’t walk without getting dizzy.
Speaking from his hospital bed at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, John said: “The accident was between two evils - we could have been thrown off the boat but we stayed on and I hit the wooden slabs several times and fell badly on my back.
“It was catastrophic really. It is devastating that I cannot attend my son’s wedding but you can’t let 120 people down.
“If it hadn’t taken so long for the second operation in Spain, I could have been able to go.”
John has planned to watch some of the wedding via Facetime and will celebrate with Alex and his wife-to-be Alice at a party when they arrive back from their honeymoon.
“It is very upsetting that he cannot make our wedding. My mother died last year and he is our only blood relative that would have been coming but we are going to get someone to facetime him during the ceremony and take videos for him,” added Alex.
Bryan, of Honley, Huddersfield, was treated for two fractures to his vertebrae, a double fracture of his coccyx bone and a cut to his arm.
The pair were taken to two seperate hospitals in Ibiza and Bryan was originally treated for the cut on his arm but after some time, doctors noted that he was struggling with his back as well and was transfered to the same hospital.
Bryan will attend Alex and Alice’s wedding tomorrow and can only sit for 30 to 40 minutes at a time.
But is determined to get there and will make several stops along the way to the ceremony in the Isle of Wight.