The husband of a woman killed in a parasailing incident in the Florida Keys last year is suing the people he believes are to blame for her death.
Key details: According to the 68-page lawsuit Srinivasrao Alaparthi filed in Monroe County Circuit Court last week, the boat’s captain and his first mate failed to contact the U.S. Coast Guard for help during the incident. They also allegedly failed to conduct safety measures, such as checking the weather forecast before setting sail.
Last week’s lawsuit was the second one filed against captain Daniel Couch, his first mate and the resort marina out of which they operated. Couch, 50, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and multiple boating violations charges in September 2022.
What happened: Alaparthi, his 33-year-old wife Supraja Alaparthi, their 10-year-old son, their 7-year-old nephew and other extended family members traveled from Chicago to the Florida Keys to celebrate their son’s birthday on May 30, 2022.
Alaparthi alleged in the lawsuit that Couch cut the tether of the parachute carrying his wife, their son and their nephew with a pocket knife after strong wind “pegged” the parasail. The parachute was being controlled by the wind instead of the wind speed of the boat at the time, thereby dragging the boat with it.
The action resulted in the three parasailers being dropped “from an unknown height” and dragged in and out of the water for two miles before colliding with Old Seven Mile Bridge, as stated in the affidavit.
The aftermath: Earlier reports revealed that a good Samaritan rushed to help the victims out of the water and called for help. Emergency responders pronounced Alaparthi’s wife dead at the scene despite performing life-saving measures.
Speaking for the first time since the accident, Alaparthi told “Good Morning America” that what Couch did was “concerning for all of us” and later described what happened as a “terrifying and horrible moment.”
Ricky Patel, the family’s attorney, told “GMA” that Alaparthi begged Couch to help them, but he allegedly said, “Don’t worry, the bridge will help.”