Report: Lack of communication contributed to Eglin airman’s death

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 01:41 PM.

For the exercise on Oct. 11, students were to be dropped from a parasail into the bay and inflate a one-man life raft.

Knowlan was the first student to begin the exercise, according to the report from the Air Force’s Ground Accident Investigation Board.

He was towed off a launch platform on a parasail. After given the signal, he detached from the tow rope and used the parasail to float down into the water.

He successfully inflated his life raft and was debriefed by an instructor on a nearby pick-up boat.

The boat left him in the water.

Meanwhile, another boat picked up a student who had a knee injury and wasn’t able to perform the parasail practice. He was directly dropped off in the water for the life-raft exercise.

Although leaders of the exercise discussed that morning that they were going to allow the student to participate in the lifeboat portion, they did not communicate to everyone involved in the exercise exactly how it was going to be coordinated, including where and when the student would be put in the water, the report said.

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