(WSVN) - A woman is dead and two children have been injured after a parasailing crash along the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys.
They were with their family, on vacation from Illinois, when the incident happened Monday, near Pigeon Key, a short distance from Marathon.
“Coast Guard Sector Key West received a report of a parasail vessel in distress from 911 dispatch,” said Christopher Papas of U.S. Coast Guard Key West.
According to officials, 33-year-old Supraja Alaparthi, a mother, died after the incident.
Her 10-year-old son and her nephew, 9, were hurt and rushed to the hospital.
An initial report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated the captain apparently cut the line to avoid the boat being dragged by the strong winds.
The three then hit the old Seven Mile Bridge.
A good Samaritan rushed them to the closest dock at Sunset Grille in Marathon.
“That good Samaritan certainly played a role in helping these two children get the medical attention they needed in a timely fashion,” said Papas.
John Callion recalled the moments he rushed to the rescue.
“I thought there she hit the bridge, and the people were just going to be dangling while I got there, but actually it was a much worse situation,” he said.
Callion would meet first responders at the nearest dock in Marathon.
Callion explained what happened on Facebook: “It went from flat calm conditions to blowing 30 mph in a matter of seconds. I knew right away the outcome was going to be bad. Sure enough the line connected to the parasail broke. At first and from a distance in the bridge seemed to be a saving grace to stop the parasail from traveling any further. Unfortunately the victims made contact with the wing wall section of the bridge and it was at a high rate of speed.”
He also explained how he and another person jumped into action.
“Myself with my two passengers on board, I cut the harnesses to free each victim from the attached chute,” he continued, “which was hung up on the bridge. We were able to pull all three victims into my boat, 2 of which were unconscious, 1 being a young boy, the other, a woman, the mother. My heart and prayers go out to the victims, I truly did all I could do.”
“They were met by emergency medical technicians. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, while the two children were taken to higher levels of medical care,” said Papas.
The boat involved was seen docked Tuesday, a few miles away. An employee of the company, Lighthouse Parasail, told 7News they are devastated and cooperating with authorities.
The Coast Guard and the FWC is investigating the incident to prevent it from happening again.
“This is certainly — this is a tragic incident, and we want to provide our condolences to the family and friends of those involved,” said Papas.
One of the boys had to be resuscitated and was taken to a local hospital. He was later airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Southwest Miami-Dade.
The other child was released with just cuts and bruises.
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