Coast Guard searches for answers after parasailing accident leaves man amputated

Coast Guard searches for answers in parasailing accident that left man amputated (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

The Coast Guard is investigating what happened to cause a man to lose both legs while moving from a parasailing boat to a banana boat off the shores of Myrtle Beach.

"We've got some highly trained investigators out there that are digging through all of the details to hopefully prevent these kinds of incidents in the future," said James Zorn, a lieutenant in the Coast Guard.

Lt. Zorn says they are investigating Ocean Watersports because the man was a customer at the time of the accident.

"Anytime there's a serious marine incident, which in this case would be an injury more than first aid, they're required to do drug and alcohol testing in certain time parameters," said Lt. Zorn.

They can not reveal if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident until the investigation is over.

Tourists were worried when they heard the news.

"Actually, honestly, really scared," said Ellison Byers, a tourist from North Carolina.

"It scares me a little bit but as long as we're being safe about it," said Gavin Stauffenberg, a tourist from North Carolina.

But a manager with another water sports company says they do not need to be.

"Both on the banana boat ride, and the one that takes you back and forth to the parasail on the banana boat, and my captain on the boat, they all have to be certified and there's quit a bit that goes into that," said Mandy Cook with Shoreline Water Sports.

They also make sure lifejackets fit and that everyone is on the same page with safety guidelines.

"I think they're getting a little bit tighter making sure everyone is coast guard approved," said Cook.

To make sure everyone has a fun and safe time.

Ocean Watersports is still open while being investigated.

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