In day two of their hearing, the Coast Guard continued to look at the circumstances surrounding a deadly parasailing accident in Ocean Isle Beach on August 28th. Much of the testimony on Thursday, focused on the weather conditions that day.
“I think the weather’s an issue here, a lot of it, and more or less a judgment call,” said Tom Collins, a cousin of one of the victims.
A representative from the National Weather Service testified, describing rough conditions the day a rope snapped on the boat while Lorrie Shoup and Cynthia Woodcock were in the air.
“It immediately occurred to me that this is not good,” said Robert Whitman, one of the boat’s passengers. Whitman testified by phone and added, “The boat was rocking dramatically, my kids wanted off the boat. They were scared and asked me for help.”
Tom Collins added, “I know what I would have done, I wouldn’t have gone out.”
But the crew did choose to go out on the water.
The boat’s captain Tom Povazan was questioned about the incidents that day.
“Did you know there was a small craft advisory issued on August 28th?”
“No, I did not.”
“Did the owner of the company make you aware that there was a small craft issued on that day? Did you know there was a weather advisory issued for that day?”
“Did the company inform you of an advisory?”
Lt. Chester Warren is the lead investigator. He said, “In any case when you have an accident, people have a tendency to hear different things, you take the testimonies into account, you try to look at the factors that were in play and you try to make the best decision possible.”
The boat’s mate also spoke on the record, saying he thinks it was a freak weather incident, and winds that picked up quickly, put too much force on the rope, causing it to break.
Friday is the final day of the hearing.