July 9th, 2013 - by DKRPA
Did you know that parasailing is virtually unregulated in Florida or nationwide? At the same time, in Florida alone there have been as many as 33 parasailing accidents in the past 15 years — six of which were fatal.
The question of whether the activity should be more closely regulated is likely to receive renewed attention as a result of last week’s serious accident in which two 17-year-old girls from Indiana were slammed into several cars, and then the power lines, of a Panama Beach condominium complex. The two girls were in critical condition at last report.
In May, the Florida legislature declined to pass new safety regulation for the industry — at the urging, according to ABC News, of Aquatic Adventures, the very parasailing operator involved in last week’s accident.
The stricter safety standards were meant to address the potentially serious accidents that can occur due to adverse weather conditions, lack of training, poor maintenance or other issues arise. In defending his opposition to the measure, a partner at Aquatic Adventures had told reporters that allowing the industry to self-regulate was a better idea.
“We’ve started creating our own standards,” he told reporters from The News Herald. “We’ve got a good plan going,”
As the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigates the incident, it may find there was nothing that stricter safety regulations could have done to prevent it. On the other hand, this latest serious parasailing accident may indicate a need for the legislature to take another look at the issue.
Do you think parasailing needs to be more closely regulated in Florida?
Source: ABC News, “Parasailing Safety Questioned Following Florida Mishap That Injured Two Teens,” Paula Faris and Alana Abramson, July 3, 2013