During a vacation to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina, two middle-aged women were killed in a parasailing accident when the rope connecting the sail to the boat below suddenly snapped.
North Carolina investigators say that the women, 60-year-old Cynthia Woodcock of Kernersville, NC, and 56-year-old Lorrie Shoup, were 70 to 100 feet in the air when the parasail disconnected from the boat and the two women were quickly dashed into the Atlantic Ocean – a fall which is similar to hitting solid ground.
On Monday Dr. William Kelly, regional pathologist for the N.C. Medical Examiner’s office in Jacksonville, NC, reported that the two women did not drown following their parasail accident, but rather both died from blunt force trauma upon hitting the surface of the water. Kelly said that both women suffered severe head, neck, and back injuries from the fall. It is still not clear whether the trauma came from the fall itself or the trauma that followed involving the boat rescue or the nearby pier.
The North Carolina Coast Guard is still investigating the fatal parasailing accident. Drug and alcohol tests have been conducted on the crew of the boat. Authorities will also have to determine whether the boat’s equipment was properly inspected, cared for, and maintained. Eye witnesses of the event are also being taken in for interviews. The victims were parasailing with NC Watersports, a company that has operated out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center for about four years.