A family from Schaumburg, Illinois, is left grieving during what was intended to be a fun, memory-filled vacation in the Florida Keys.
A mother was killed and her son and nephew were injured after they slammed into the old Seven Mile Bridge during a parasailing tragedy west of Marathon, Florida, Monday afternoon.
According to an article by NBC, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the crash.
The FWC incident report stated that while the victims were in flight, a gust of wind kicked up. The captain then cut the line tethering the victims while they were still in flight, which caused them to be dropped from an unknown height and dragged along the water until they collided with the bridge. The mom was tragically killed and the two young boys were hospitalized.
A witness at the scene, a fishing guide, said, “It was pretty much the worst thing you could imagine.”
Coast Guard Sector Key West commander, Captain Jason Ingram, said in a press release, “This was a tragedy for a family seeking to enjoy their visit to the Florida Keys. Our team and our partners at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating the accident to determine the causal factors and mitigate future casualties to make the waterways as safe as possible.”
“He never should have done that. That’s the golden rule. Do not cut the line,” said Mark McCulloh, chairman of the Florida-based Parasail Safety Council according to statements reported at Nexstar News Media. McCulloh said he has been in a similar situation but would wait for the storm to pass. “I know exactly what that captain was feeling but you never cut the boat line, no way. I would never train somebody to do that. That’s their lifeline,” McCulloh told NBC News.