Earlier warning forecasts issued by the Indonesian Department of Meteorology portended fatal consequences on Monday, April 14, 2008, when localized whirlwinds were cited as the cause of a parasailing accident on Tanjung Benoa that resulted in the death of a 30 year old South Korean woman, Cha Young Mi.
The fatal accident took place at around 10:30 a.m. when a sudden whirlwind pulled the parasail off course causing the cord securing it to the tow boat to break. The terrified woman flew uncontrolled for a number of minutes before eventually coming to earth in an inverted position where she struck her head on a gravestone in a local cemetery. Suffering severe head injuries, the woman was rushed to a local hospital where she died a short time later.
The same sudden onslaught of local whirlwinds and rains along the Tanjung Benoa peninsula was also blamed for at least three other accidents suffered by parasailors, none of which were fatal in nature.
Reports in Nusa Bali have been critical of the operator of the parasail company that handled the South Korean woman, claiming the company had ignored maintenance and routine inspections programs. Local newspapers quoted the Secretary General of the Bali Paragliding Association, M. Rifan, who blamed the operator, PT Ciwa Sempurna, for having failed to undertake the required regular inspections of equipment which he blamed for the broken tow line.
Police continue to investigate the incident.
Second Death Reported in a Single Week
On Saturday, April 19th, just five days after the death of the South Korean woman, a second fatality claimed the life of a Japanese woman participating in water sports in Tanjung Benoa. Fushida Aki (41) was riding a flying fish with her husband, Fushida Osamu at 9:30 a.m. when a gust of wind was blamed for the accident. The woman suffered broken legs and severe head injuries resulting in her death a short time later at the Kasih Ibu Hospital. Her husband sustained a broken arm in the accident.
A flying fish is a water sports thrill ride resembling a banana boat and a kite towed by a high speed boat.
As with the earlier incident, police continue to investigate.
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