Boat Captain Arrested After Tragic Keys Parasailing Accident

Local News confirmed on Thursday that a boat captain has been detained in connection with the death of a woman and injuries sustained by her son and nephew while parasailing in the Florida Keys some months ago.

The arrest warrant for 49-year-old Daniel Gavin Couch, which was acquired by Local 10 News, states that he is being charged with one count of manslaughter and five counts of breaking commercial parasailing legislation.

Boat Captain Arrested After Tragic Keys Parasailing Accident
Boat Captain Arrested After Tragic Keys Parasailing Accident

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that on May 30 off the coast of Marathon, the parasail was “pegging,” and the captain “cut the line attached to the three victims.”

This is the term for when a parasail transforms into a sail and threatens to drag the boat behind it in strong winds.

The report claims that the woman and her two children were “dropped and dragged through the water by the inflated parasail…through and across the surface of the water” before striking the Old Seven Mile Bridge.

According to the article, onboard the 31-foot yacht were nine persons from Schaumburg, Illinois.

Supraja Alaparthi, 33, was named as the victim by authorities. Sriakshith Alaparthi, her son, was 10 and went parasailing with his mom. Vishant Sadat, 7, Alaparthi’s nephew, was evacuated to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

When a Good Samaritan boat captain arrived to rescue, FWC officers reported Supraja Alaparthi was already pronounced dead.

Couch works for Lighthouse Parasail Inc., which is situated in Marathon and had departed from Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway that day.

The warrant states that Couch broke multiple laws regarding commercial parasailing.

According to the warrant, the weather, and the wind speed in particular, played a “major contributing factor” in the incident.

The parasail company is being sued by the victim’s family.

“There is no explanation for the incompetence and disdain for public safety that was demonstrated in this case,” FWC Regional Commander Major Alberto Maza stated in a statement posted by the agency. The people who lost loved ones in this tragic disaster are in my thoughts and prayers. Our investigators have done their homework, and the charges announced today should ensure that those responsible for this atrocity face justice.