Earlier this month, two teenagers visiting from Indiana were seriously injured in a parasailingaccident when their parachute came loose from the boat, causing them to crash into two condominiums and crash into power lines. Following the crash, the girls landed in a nearby parking lot, where they were found to be unresponsive.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an afternoon storm had developed during the teen’s parasailing ride. The boat operator had apparently anchored the boat to keep it from being pulled to shore, but high winds prevented the chute from coming down and the towline eventually detached, causing the riders to fly away.
The girls were both in critical condition after the accident. One of them was released from the hospital earlier this week, while the other was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Indianapolis on last week.
The accident has reportedly highlighted concerns about the risks of parasailing, which have been around for some time. As an industry, the activity is not well-regulated. In Florida, there have been 33 parasailing accidents since 1998, and six fatalities.
Florida lawmakers had considered a bill back in May that would have impose safety standards on parasailing as an industry, but that measure did not pass. The measure was opposed by representatives of the industry, much in the same way the boating industry is well known for opposing safety standards in Florida.
Sources did not mention anything about potential litigation stemming from the accident, though the owner of the boat involving in the accident sent out sympathies to the girls’ families, though without admitting any responsibility.
The Christian Science Monitor, “Parasailing accident: Florida boat owner reaches out to families of injured,” July 5, 2013.