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Criminal charges have been filed in the 2009 parasailing deaths of two women in Ocean Isle Beach.
Thomas Povozan, captain of Tied High, is facing federal charges for his involvement in a parasailing incident that claimed the lives of Cynthia Collins Woodcock, 60, of Kernersville and Lorrie D. Shoup, 56, of Granby, Colo. It happened on Aug. 28, 2009.
Povozan has been charged under the Seaman’s Manslaughter Act, which is intended to hold seafarers criminally responsible for a maritime accident resulting in death.
Autopsy reports showed both women died of blunt force trauma.
A U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit report at the time of the incident said a rope connecting the parasailers and the boat parted causing the women to hit the water. Passengers and onlookers also reported the women hit the side of the boat during rescue attempts.
Povozan said at the time of the incident weather conditions took him by surprise and a sudden wind gust was at fault. That same day the National Weather Service issued an advisory to warn small boats of choppy conditions as Tropical Storm Danny passed offshore.
There were at least 10 additional passengers on Tied High as well as a deck hand and Povozan.
Povozan worked for Ocean Isle Beach-based company North Carolina Watersports.
In late September, a federal judge in Wilmington ordered the company that insured Tied High and its owners to finish paying a $100,000 settlement to the women’s families.