Photograph Offers New Perspective on Parasailing Accident


2 Indiana teenagers remain in critical condition after a parasailing accident Monday afternoon. Now a picture is offering a new perspective as the Coast Guard gathers information on the weather conditions during the accident.

The picture is a scary sight to see: a parasail floating in front of a storm. This eventually lead to a more terrifying sight as 17 year olds Sidney Good and Alexis Fairchild were slammed into and then blown over the Commodore Condominiums, later hitting a power line and tree before landing on an SUV.

"We looked up because people were screaming and we saw the parasail flying by," said Grace Gallaher who took the picture of the parasail about 10 minutes before the incident. "It was really fast and it ran into the powerline and a huge spark that looked like a blue firework, it - it just exploded."

"I looked up and then that's when we saw the parasail and it was this huge gust of wind that initially took them onto the wire," said Hayley Gatlin.

Coast Guard officials are trying to find out exactly what kind of weather conditions were present at the time. Tuesday they called Newschannel 7 Chief Meteorologist Chris Smith for that information.

With ground level winds between 15 and 25 miles an hour, Chris says conditions were probably much worse in the air.

"We had an outflow boundary develop so what happens is we have a cool rush of air come out of that shower and rush towards the shore," said Smith. "Likely, those winds were probably in a small area, much stronger and probably closer to maybe 30 miles per hour."

With winds like that, the stakes are much higher. Still others are concerned about why the parasail was in the air to begin with, especially with weather data showing that the storm could be seen at least and hour before the tragic accident took place.

Wednesday afternoon, the girls' families released another update saying the teens are still in critical condition, but showing some promising signs of progress.

The parasailing company Aquatic Adventures released a statement expressing sympathy for the girls' injuries.


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