Coast Guard to conduct investigation into parasailing accident

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Rear Adm. Wayne Justice, Coast Guard 5th District commander, ordered a district formal investigation Monday to determine the cause of the parasailing accident in Ocean Isle, N.C. Friday resulting in the death of two females.

A district formal investigation is conducted by a Coast Guard officer who will gather evidence and testimony using formal rules and procedures, and is convened when the investigation has the potential to be regionally significant or indicate vessel class wide problems.

The investigation is expected to last several weeks.

Parasailing is an industry represented within the Coast Guard 5th District, but is not regulated by the Coast Guard.

The investigation officer will examine every aspect of the accident, and determine as closely as possible:

(1) the cause of the accident;

(2) whether there is evidence that any failure of material or equipment was involved or contributed to the casualty;

(3) whether there is evidence that any act of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence, or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person contributed to the casualty;

(4) whether there is evidence that any Coast Guard or other government agency personnel caused or contributed to the casualty; and

(5) whether the accident should be further investigated by a Marine Board of Investigation.

The investigating officer is a member of the Coast Guard 5th District marine inspections and investigations branch, and will be assisted by investigating officers from Coast Guard Sector North Carolina and Marine Safety Unit Wilmington.

Coast Guard investigations of marine casualties and accidents are for the purpose of taking appropriate measures for promoting safety of life and property, and are not intended to fix civil or criminal responsibility.

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