A Mediterranean stag trip turned into an horrific nightmare within the space of a few seconds.
One minute a group of friends were enjoying an idyllic boat trip in the sunny waters off the holiday island of Ibiza.
The next, one of their two chartered power boats ploughed into the wake of a much larger vessel, throwing its passengers high into the air and leaving two men with serious back injuries.
John first had to undergo an emergency five-hour operation in Ibiza to relieve the pressure on his vertebrae. He was flown on Wednesday - 11 days after the accident - to a Sheffield hospital where he is now awaiting a second operation.
Bryan, an insurance broker, was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He suffered a smashed coccyx, two fractured vertebrae and a gash to his arm which required stitching in Ibiza. He is now back at home in Honley and has to wear a body brace for the next six weeks.
His back and thighs are completely black from the bruising and doctors are monitoring his injuries before deciding whether he will need surgery.
Bryan said: “It all happened so quickly. We had chartered two boats and were travelling to the island of Formentera when a much bigger and faster boat went past us, creating a big wake.
“The captain of the lead boat immediately cut his engines. But we were in the second boat and our captain did not - he went straight through the wake.
“John and I were at the front of the boat. We were thrown up into the air, back down and bounced up into the air again. It was a nightmare.
“I dread to think what would have happened if we had hit the boat a third time, it would have been even worse.
“It has been very distressing, but thank God the worse is over.”
Bryan, 73, was able to walk off the boat, but John’s injuries were even more serious and he was stretchered off.
Bryan’s overriding memory of the incident is total confusion. He was taken away to have his arm stitched and for part of the day, his friends and wife, Joan, back in England had no idea where he was.
The trip had started out so well. The 20 men had flown out to the Mediterranean island to help Alex Doherty, John’s son, celebrate his forthcoming wedding to Alice.
The men chartered the boats and headed off in the warm Mediterranean sunshine to Alice’s favourite restaurant on Ibiza’s tranquil sister island of Formentera.
Since the accident, Alex and his brother Oliver have been at their father’s bedside. Alex and Alice are due to marry on the Isle of Wight on Saturday, September 21.
They have no idea how John, 64, a management consultant, will be on that date, but are determined that he shall be at the wedding if at all possible - even if that means chartering a helicopter to fly him to the wedding.
Joan flew out to be at Bryan’s bedside and returned with him to Yorkshire in the air ambulance.
She said: “Bryan was in a different hospital having his arm stitched the first day, so at one point nobody knew where he was. It was awful, really worrying.
“Bryan has been fantastic throughout this, he is such a positive person. We are now hoping that now John is in hospital over here, he can have another operation as soon as possible and doctors in Ibiza are hopeful he will make a good recovery.”
Bryan, John and Joan are all members of Huddersfield Golf Club and well known in local golfing circles. Joan is currently the club’s lady captain and Bryan is president-elect of the Halifax-Huddersfield and District Union of Golf Clubs.
The matter is now in the hands of the lawyers.