Those flocking to Florida beaches this summer often opt to try parasailing as a memorable activity during their time at the seashore. But the activity can quickly turn deadly.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the industry has few regulations. An NTSB investigation determined that a spate of serious accidents were attributed to faulty equipment. The agency issued their report after investigating eight separate parasailing accidents in the U.S. Virgin Islands, North Carolina a, Hawaii and two in Florida.
The Florida accidents occurred in Panama City and Pompano Beach. In the former, two teenagers suffered serious injuries when their towline broke in high winds and slammed them into a beachfront condo. Just the summer before, a woman died when her harness tore away from the flight bar and she dropped into the ocean.
Safety concerns identified in the agency’s report included operators using gear that was unserviceable, inadequate equipment, rope that was compromised in strength and operating during hazardous wind conditions.
The Acting Chairman of the NTSB stated, “It is crucial that operators are competent and aware of all the risks associated with parasailing.”
The NTSB also recommended some industry standards be implemented in regards to equipment inspections and operator training. Included were that the Coast Guard issue parasail operators special licenses and operators be required to have, “a minimum level of experience and professional competence.”
If parasailing along the beach in Florida is one of the items to check off on your Bucket List this summer, make sure that you have as safe an experience as possible. Ask to inspect the equipment before strapping yourself into it and inquire about the boat operator’s experience.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one to a parasailing accident, you may be entitled to compensation through the civil courts.
Source: WFOR-TV, “NTSB: Parasailing Accidents ‘Frequently Caused By Faulty Equipment’,” accessed July 31, 2015