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Family Mourns Loss Of Woman Killed In Parasailing Accident

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Kathleen Miskell died as the result of a parasailing accident off Pompano Beach. (Courtesy: Erin Mulcahy)

Kathleen Miskell died as the result of a parasailing accident off Pompano Beach. (Courtesy: Erin Mulcahy)

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POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) – As the investigation gets underway into what caused a deadly parasailing accident Wednesday, the family of the victim is grieving their loss.

From their Connecticut home, the heartbroken family of 28 year old Kathleen Miskell spoke by phone with CBS 4 News.

Miskell was killed while parasailing with her her husband over the Atlantic Ocean just off Pompano Beach.

Investigators say the harness she was wearing broke and she plunged 150 feet to her death.

“She just liked life.  She was a happy person who could dance and sing and liked to be around people,” said her father Jim Mulcahy.

Erin Mulcahy the victim’s sister said she has lost her best friend.

“She had never been parasailing before.  “I don’t know if she was nervous but I don’t know it was something she dreamed of doing either.”

Jim Mulcahy says Kathleen and her husband of three years, Stephen decided to take a trip to Florida before Kathleen had to return to school where she worked with special needs children.  The couple was staying at a friend’s condo unit for the week.

“She really never did a thing wrong in her life,” she was a good kid all her life,” said Erin Mulcahy.

Kathleen was attending graduate school and wanted to become a guidance counselor, according to her family.

And now the family must wait for answers.

The boat Kathleen and her husband contracted with for the parasailing excursion belonged to Wave Blast Water Sports.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which is the lead agency on the investigation has confiscated the boat for evidence.

“Our investigators are trying to look into every aspect of the case trying to make a determination whether the harness actually failed, whether the ropes failed, the parachute, any and all aspects of the case,” said FWC spokesman Jorge Pino.

On Wednesday an unidentified worker for the company said they had the best equipment and called what happened a freak accident.

And it’s not the first deadly parasailing incident in Pompano Beach.

Five years ago a teenager was killed when her harness broke and she crashed into a roof.

City officials are now urging state lawmakers once again to pass stringent regulations for parasailing operators.

Similar attempts have failed before in Tallahassee.

But Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher says he will meet with an area state Rep on Monday to talk about new legislation. After two deadly accidents Fisher says it’s about time.

Meanwhile the Mulcahy family must now arrange a funeral service for Kathleen.

“We’re in shock.  It’s like anyone dealing with a tragedy, we’re getting a lot of support from friends,” said a tearful Jim Mulcahy.

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