Multiple news outlets are reporting that a woman vacationing from Connecticut was killed yesterday while parasailing in Pompano Beach. According to Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, the 28-year-old woman was tandem parasailing with her husband. The couple was in the air as high as 250 feet when the harness and tandem used to take the parasailers out snapped. The woman fell directly into the water. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue was able to reel in her husband, but found the woman face down in the water and in cardiac arrest. She was ultimately pronounced dead at Broward Health North.
This parasailing accident is very similar to a similar death in Pompano in 2007 when a wind gust swept two teenagers who were parasailing into a building. One of them, Amber White, 15, died.
According to the Parasailing Safety Council, there have been 72 fatalities in parasailing since 1982, with roughly 5 million people participating annually. Of those 72 deaths, only 9 are attributed to passenger support system failures, while 58 are attributed to the inability to escape the support system.
The counsel advises:
The most perilous accidents begin as a tow line separation from the tow vessel in high winds resulting in a water landing. The question is why are they perilous? To answer that question, one must begin with understanding the role of parasail canopy size selection and the dynamics involved in the choice. First, the parasail canopy has the unique ability to create a powerful lifting force when towed. This attribute makes the entire sport of parasailing possible, but it also has its down side. The parasail canopy cares little whether its towing people through the air or water. A parasail canopy separated from its tow line can remain inflated by the wind with a passenger being towed in the water placing them in harm’s way.
This should be a reminder that no matter how safe these adventurous activities may seem, there is an inherent risk associated with the thrill. If you or a family member has been injured in a recreational accident, please contact our office. We have handled a variety of personal injury and wrongful death cases in Miami, Broward and West Palm Beach relating to watersports and jetski accidents.