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Indian American Sues Boat Captain, Resort For Wife’s Death


Indian American Sues Boat Captain, Resort For Wife’s Death

NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – An Indian American is suing a waterfront resort and a boat captain for alleged negligence that resulted in the death of his wife and severe injuries to his son and nephew while parasailing last year in Florida.

Srinivasrao Alaparthi filed a 68-page lawsuit this week in Monroe County circuit court against the boat captain, his first mate, and the resort, Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway. The lawsuit claims negligence and wrongful death, as reported by The Washington Post.

Last year, Alaparthi had filed a lawsuit against the parasailing company, Lighthouse Parasailing, which operated out of Captain Pip’s Marina. On May 30, 2022, Alaparthi, his wife Supraja (33), their 10-year-old son, and 9-year-old nephew went parasailing while on vacation in the Florida Keys. However, the weather suddenly turned bad.

Within minutes, the boat’s captain, Daniel Couch, cut the towline connecting the parasail to the boat, causing Supraja and the children to float in the air for two miles before crashing into a concrete bridge. Alaparthi, originally from Andhra Pradesh, described the experience as “terrifying” when speaking to reporters on June 15, according to The Post.

His lawsuit alleges that the boat’s crew failed to check the weather forecast, which would have indicated an incoming storm. They also neglected to radio the US Coast Guard for assistance when the independent chute dragged Supraja to her death.

Furthermore, the crew did not provide sufficient safety equipment, including life jackets on board, and failed to properly bring the parasail down after losing control.

“I can’t help but think that if the people we trusted from the parasailing company and Captain Pip’s Marina had done their jobs, my wife would still be with us today,” Alaparthi said, as quoted by The Post. “We trusted these companies, but they let us down in the worst possible way.”

In September of last year, Couch was charged with manslaughter and multiple boating violations. He has pleaded not guilty. According to media reports, Couch believed that cutting the towline would allow them to drift into the water, where he could rescue them.

An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission revealed that Couch lost control of the parasail with around 150 feet of line still extended and subsequently “immediately” cut the tow line using a pocketknife.

As a result, the three passengers fell from “an unknown height,” according to the affidavit. The parasail, untethered from the boat and propelled by the wind, remained airborne and traveled south, dragging its three occupants in and out of the water for two miles, as stated in The Post, citing the affidavit.

Alaparthi informed reporters that the children are still recovering physically and working through the emotional trauma.

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