An Indian woman from Illinois has been pictured after she was killed while parasailing along with two young children.
Supraja Alaparthi, 33, lost her life during the incident in the Florida Keys, while her son, Sriakshith Alaparthi, 10, and her nine-year-old nephew Vishant Sadda were injured.
A sudden storm prompted a boat captain to cut loose their parasail, which then dragged them across the ocean and slammed them into a bridge in the Florida Keys.
A nearby boater saw them hit the water and rushed to rescue them, pulling the victims into his boat and taking them to waiting paramedics.
Supraja Alaparthi, 33, lost her life during the incident in the Florida Keys
Supraja Alaparthi was parasailing with her son and nephew when the fatal accident took place
A mother and along with her young son and nephew crashed into an abandoned bridge while parasailing in Key West on Monday at around 5pm
Rescuers are seen on site the bridge in the moments following the accident
Alaprthi was a native of Mankenivaripalem in Santhamanguluru mandal, India
Alaparthi from Schaumburg, Illinois, had already died by the time they arrived at the nearby Sunset Grill Marina. The two children were taken to hospitals for treatment.
John Callion, a fishing guide, raced around Pigeon Key to reach them, his fiancée, Kasey Platt, told WPLG-TV.
‘He was pretty frantic on the call. He said, `Call 911 right away,´’ Platt told the television station.
Callion told the Miami Herald that the Memorial Day storm developed suddenly.
‘It was pretty much flat calm, but you could see the storm coming. All of the sudden, the temperature dropped by 10 degrees and the wind started blowing like crazy,’ Callion said.
‘I knew right away the outcome was going to be bad,’ he said. ‘Sure enough, the line connected to the parasail broke.’
Captain John Callion raced his boat over to the scene, to rescue the woman and two boys, ages 9 and 10, from the water but she was already dead
Callion described the harrowing experience in a Facebook post, explaining that the weather suddenly turned for the worse and the line connected to the parasail was separated
Callion and the crew on board his boat tried to provide CPR to the woman and the two boys before he rushed them over to a local restaurant, where EMS crews took charge
‘At first, and from a distance, 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 sped.’
He told the Herald that he did not see the mom and kids hit the bridge, because he immediately raced after them as soon as he saw them fall into the water.
The captain on the boat pulling the parasail, Daniel Couch, 49, ‘cut a line tethered to the three victims’ because the parasail was ‘pegging,’ or dragging the boat, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report released on Tuesday night.
The woman and children were then dragged ‘through and across the surface of the water’ by the inflated parasail until they collided with the Old Seven Mile Bridge, the agency’s report said.
Supraja Alaparthi, 33, from Schaumburg, Illinois, is pictured with her husband and two kids
Mark McCulloh, a parasailing safety consultant from Maitland, Florida, said boat captains should never cut the cord when people are in the air.
‘No, no, no. That’s not even in the cards,’ McCulloh told The Associated Press. He noted that, generally speaking, a captain is giving up control by cutting the line.
‘You run a huge risk because it’s windy. When the parasail lands in the water, it doesn’t stop moving,’ he said.
Callion, the fishing guide who saw the crash, found the 10-year-old boy battered but awake. The 9-year-old boy was unconscious and wrapped in the parasail’s lines.
‘It was pretty much the worst thing you could imagine,’ he said. ‘It was real bad.’
The tragic crash occurred at the Old Seven Mile Bridge (left), which was decommissioned in the 1980s when the new Seven Mile Bridge opened (right)
Callion and his crew then cut the harness from the chute, which was hanging from the decommissioned bridge, and he and his passengers began CPR on the child and his mother – but soon realized the woman had no pulse.
Fortunately, Monroe County sheriff’s deputies were on the bridge for another incident – and witnessed Callion get the victims into his boat.
They then reportedly yelled down from the bridge to get the woman and her sons to the Sunset Grill, an oceanfront restaurant located at the base of the bridge.
Once they arrived, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer began chest compressions on the woman aboard Callion’s boat, Sgt. Deborah Johnson of the Keys sheriff’s office said in her incident report.
She then hopped on board the boat to assist the officers with CPR, but once paramedics arrived on the scene, the Miami Herald reports, she turned her attention to the seven-year-old boy, who she said was going in and out of consciousness.
The Coast Guard and the state’s wildlife agency are investigating.
‘Our condolences are with the family and loved ones of those affected by Monday’s accident,’ said Capt. Jason Ingram, Coast Guard Sector Key West commander. ‘This was a tragedy for a family seeking to enjoy their visit to the Florida Keys.’
The Old Seven-Mile Bridge which they hit connects Knights Key in the Middle Keys city of Marathon with Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys and was decommissioned in the 1980s.
Callion, meanwhile, wrote in his Facebook post: ‘My heart and prayers go out to the victims. I truly did all I could do.
‘Never take life for granted,’ he concluded. ‘Things can change in a second.’