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Vacation Fun Turns Deadly — Parasailers Die in High Winds at NC Beach

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U.S. Coast Guard officials say a disconnected rope is to blame in a parasailing accident that killed two women in Ocean Isle, NC, on Friday. Among the victims is Cynthia Woodcock from Kernersville. The other victim, Lorrie Shoup from Granby, Colorado, was vacationing with Woodcock.

The two were parasailing with a local company, N.C. Watersports. The company has reportedly been in operation at Ocean Isle for four years or so. The Coast Guard asked the company to suspend parasailing operations while the investigation continues.

The Coast Guard is conducting drug tests on the employees involved and looking into the possibility that rough weather in the area because of tropical storm Danny played a part in the accident.

According to reports from WFMY, Cynthia Woodcock’s son Bart is asking why the company would be operating in rough weather. “My first question is, ‘If there’s a storm or a tropical storm or a hurricane offshore, why in the world are you taking a small boat out there parasailing of all things?”

That seems to be the question of the moment. My partner (and Dad) Lawrence was at the coast in Brunswick County over the weekend. He expressed the same concern Bart Woodcock did when he first heard of the accident.

Witnesses to the accident also spoke of the severe weather. According to the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, witnesses said “the boat and suspended parasailers seemed to lodge motionless in high winds.”

According to the National Weather Service, winds in the area were gusting to 20 miles per hour. The Sun News reports one witness describing the wind “as strong as that of a winter nor’easter.” The newspaper also spoke with David Sage, co-owner of Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Watersports. According to Sage, “when the wind gets over 20 mph, it makes a huge, huge difference.” Sage does not permit his parasail boats to operate in winds of 20 mph or greater and his boats were not operating at the time of the accident in Ocean Isle.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in Friday’s accident. Below is memorial service information for Cynthia Woodcock.

Memorial Service Information

A memorial service celebrating Cindy’s life will be held Monday, August 31, 2009 at 7:00 PM at Woodlawn Baptist Church, 3201 N. Main Street in High Point, NC.

The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 7 until 9 PM at Evans Funeral Service at 1070 Taylorsville Rd in Lenoir, NC 28645.

Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 PM Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at Calvary Advent Christian Church in Lenoir with Reverend Jim Lee officiating at 1330 Delwood Dr in Lenoir. Burial will follow in the Mt. View Baptist Church Cemetery in Lenoir.

The family respectfully requests memorials be made to Woodlawn Baptist Church, 3201 N. Main Street, High Point, NC or the Education Fund for Dylan and Devin Woodcock, C/O Wachovia, NC.