Boat captain gives testimony in day 2 of parasailing hearings

Barrett McMullan
Barrett McMullan

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The second day of formal hearings in regards to a fatal parasailing accident that happened in Ocean Isle Beach in August resumed Thursday morning around 9:00.

Investigators are using day two, to focus their attention on the testimonies from the boat crew, including Captain Thomas Povazan.

According to Mike Carpolo with the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Danny was lurking in the distance so a small craft advisory was put in place August 27, the day before Cynthia Woodcock and Lorrie Shoup went parasailing.

Carpolo said the forecast was updated August 28 with showers and thunderstorms expected during the afternoon of the accident.

Captain Povazan said he was unaware of a small craft advisory or any weather advisory on the day the two women lost their lives in the parasailing accident.

The day ended with emotional testimony from a passenger on the boat, Sybil Carpenter, who retold the story of how her niece died.

Wednesday, Barrett McMullan, the owner of the parasailing operation involved, said he received a panic call from the captain of the boat the day of the accident.  They said a gust of wind caught the parachute causing the vessel to take on water.

McMullan says he routinely checks his equipment to ensure safety, and his crew could not prevent what happened that day.

The Coast Guard will continue to collect testimony from people on the boat and will forward their findings to a panel in Washington D.C., which will determine whether the government should implement safety regulations for the parasailing industry.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.