Captain involved in fatal parasailing accident sentenced to six months home confinement
Published: September 28, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - The captain of a parasailing boat who was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a tourist after the tow line snapped in Nov. 11 was sentenced in District Court on Friday.
Chief District Judge Curtis Gomez sentenced the boat captain, Kyle Coleman, to six months of home confinement and one year of supervised release, and he sentenced CWS Tours LLC, which is owned by Joe Campana, to one year of supervised probation. Gomez also ordered Coleman and CWS Tours to contribute 150 hours of community service and pay joint restitution of more than $1.3 million to the victim who survived the accident.
Danielle Haese, of New York, and her mother, Bernice Kraftcheck, an Illinois-woman who was celebrating her 60th birthday with a trip to the territory, were on the parasailing trip when the accident happened.
When the wind began picking up while the women were in the air, Coleman started to bring the women in. As he was doing so, the tow line snapped and the women plunged into the ocean, with the sail dragging them on the water.
Kraftcheck was killed and Haese was severely injured.
Throughout the court proceedings, Campana and Coleman have expressed their sympathies and have not fought the charges against them.
Coleman pleaded guilty to one count of operating a motor vessel in a negligent manner, and CWS Tours LLC, represented by Campana, pleaded no contest to misconduct or neglect of a shipowner.
According to their plea agreements, Coleman faced up to one year in prison, and CWS Tours faced a maximum penalty of five years probation and a fine of up to $250,000.
As part of the agreement, CWS Tours agreed to take part in two public service announcements produced with the U.S. Coast Guard to promote parasailing safety and agreed to help promote Coast Guard safety recommendations within the parasailing industry.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email email@example.com.