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Plane Pulls Parasail, Tourist Into Ocean

It was a short, terrifying ride for a tourist on a parasail when a banner-towing airplane accidentally snagged his chute and dragged him into the ocean.

Eric Henrichs, 17, was unhurt by the ordeal Monday, which is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Henrichs was gliding in the air, suspended from a 30-by-30 parasail - similar to a parachute but tethered to a boat - when the Paramount Air Service plane passed by and its banner became entangled in the chute, said State Trooper Al Della Fave.

The plane was losing altitude as it dragged Henrichs for about 200 feet until he hit the water, tearing the parasail free of the plane, Della Fave said.

Matt Traber, who was driving the boat, said Tuesday he blamed the pilot, Michael Clark.

“They said the pilot never saw it. I don’t know how they couldn’t have seen it,” Traber said.

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