Parasailing Safety

By Patrick Farrell March 10, 2014


A Florida Senate committee unanimously approved on February 13, 2014, a bill to provide safety guidelines for parasailing companies.  Over the past several years, there have been several fatalities and near fatalities due to parasailing accidents.  Essentially, the legislation approved details specific insurance, equipment and license requirements.  It also prohibits commercial parasailing during certain weather conditions.  The bill proposes that operators carry $1 million in insurance, have specific equipment on boat and be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Between 2000 and 2013 there have been twenty parasailing accidents which resulted in twenty injuries and six deaths, including fifteen year old Amber May White.  Amber and her sister Crystal (17 years old) went parasailing in Pompano Beach, Florida back in 2007.  As an ominous storm quickly moved in, the boat never stopped, despite the yells from the girls.  In an instant, their young lives changed forever.  The towline snapped and hurled the girls into the roof of a waterside hotel.  Amber died of her injuries.  Crystal survived but suffered permanent brain damage.

Although many believe that the regulations are not sufficient, it’s at least a step in the right direction to hopefully make way for additional reform.

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