Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Longboat Key tourist's parasailing death ruled a drowning

A tourist who died after a parasailing accident earlier this summer drowned, an autopsy showed.

South Carolina resident David Richard Sieradzki, 31, died June 27 about a mile off Longboat Key after his parasail drifted down into the water when the boat pulling him lost speed. Although he fell from as high as 800 feet, officials said Sieradzki, who was wearing a life jacket and was known to be a good swimmer, landed fine. Witnesses even saw him waving his hands.

But by the time Sieradzki was pulled up into the boat, he was dead.

Dr. Russell Vega, chief medical examiner for Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties, determined Sieradzki drowned. Vega ruled the death an accident.

"We're presuming he lost consciousness," Vega said Friday, adding that investigators ruled out several other factors that could cause a drowning, including physical injury, weather, intoxication and entanglement of the parasailing equipment.

There also was no evidence Sieradzki suffered a concussion, Vega said. Yet an autopsy showed he did have a mildly enlarged heart, which could have caused an arrhythmia. Heart arrhythmias themselves, which can be precipitated by stress, can cause unconsciousness, Vega said.

"Unfortunately, there's just no way to determine what risk factor caused him to drown," he said.

Sieradzki was the second tourist to die in a parasailing incident off Florida's west coast within the past year. Alejandra White, 27, of Georgia was killed in September when a rope snapped while she and her fiance parasailed along Clearwater Beach.

Longboat Key tourist's parasailing death ruled a drowning 08/26/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2011 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company


    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.