Daniel Gavin Couch; Boat Captain Arrested Months After Fatal Parasailing Accident in Keys


Daniel Gavin Couch; Boat Captain Arrested Months After Fatal Parasailing Accident in Keys

A boat captain has been arrested, several months after a woman was killed and her son and nephew were injured in a parasailing accident in the Florida Keys

According to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “The captain cut the line tethered to the three victims” on May 30 off the coast of Marathon because the parasail was “pegging.”

That is a phrase used to describe when a parasail turns into a sail in high winds and could potentially drag the boat.

The woman and two children were dropped and “dragged through the water by the inflated parasail-through and across the surface of the water” before colliding with the Old Seven Mile Bridge, the report states.

According to the report, onboard the 31-foot boat were nine people from Schaumburg, Illinois.

Authorities identified the woman who died as Supraja Alaparthi, 33. Her 10-year-old son, Sriakshith Alaparthi, was also parasailing with her. The 7-year-old boy who was airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is Alaparthi’s nephew, identified as Vishant Sadat.

Officers said Supraja Alaparthi was declared dead by the time a Good Samaritan boat captain arrived to help.

Couch worked for Lighthouse Parasail Inc., which is based in Marathon and had departed from Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway that day. According to the warrant, Couch violated several commercial parasailing statutes.

The weather, specifically the wind speed, was a “key contributing factor” in the accident, the warrant stated.

“There is no excuse for the negligence and disregard for public safety that was shown in this case,” FWC Regional Commander Major Alberto Maza said in a statement released by the agency. “My prayers go out to the families of those involved in this terrible accident. Our investigators conducted a thorough investigation, and the charges today hold those responsible for this tragedy accountable.”


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