Home Covid-19 Parasailing accident in Florida Keys leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

Parasailing accident in Florida Keys leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

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A woman died and her son and nephew sustained injuries following a parasailing accident in the Florida Keys on Memorial Day.

Strong winds threw the three relatives into a bridge Monday around 5:30 p.m., according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials. The FWC and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the accident.

“Severe weather is a factor with this boating accident,” read an incident report from the FWC.

Supraja Alaparthi, 33; her son Sriakshith Alaparthi, 10; and her nephew Vishant Sadda, 9 were on vacation in the Keys. The family is from Schaumburg, Illinois.

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The mother and her son and nephew slammed into the Seven-Mile Bridge while parasailing in the Florida Keys. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

The incident report stated that a strong gust of wind “pegged” the parasail once the three family members were flying. This means that the sail was so full of air that the boat below no longer had control of the chute.

The boat’s captain then cut the tethered line, according to the report. The victims fell from an unknown height and were dragged through the water by the parasail until they slammed into the Seven-Mile Bridge.

Parasail Safety Council founder Mark McCulloh said cutting a line when it becomes pegged is not standard protocol.

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The Seven-Mile Bridge extends U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys and runs all the way to Key West.
(iStock)

“In a high wind, the parasail is not going to land and collapse, number one, it’s going to keep on going,” he said, according to NBC 6. “You never cut the line when you’re in mid-flight. Because then you’ve lost total control of it.”

The Florida state legislature passed new laws in 2014 after several fatal parasailing accidents. Some of these laws prohibit parasailing in certain weather conditions and require operators to carry $2 million in liability coverage.

Nearby fisherman John Callion was the first to respond to Monday’s crash, the Miami Herald reported. He and his two passengers took the victims to the closest restaurant for medical attention.

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In this aerial photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, runners go across the Seven-Mile Bridge Run Saturday, April 9, 2016, near Marathon, Fla., in the Florida Keys. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

In this aerial photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, runners go across the Seven-Mile Bridge Run Saturday, April 9, 2016, near Marathon, Fla., in the Florida Keys. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

An FWC official and a sargent from the Keys sheriff’s office arrived at the restaurant, where they began trying to help the victims.

Paramedics showed up and Alaparthi was pronounced dead. The two children were transported to a local hospital. Sriakshith suffered minor injuries and Vishant was reportedly in critical condition.

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