Each year, an estimated five million people try parasailing for the first time. Many people think there is a state or federal agency that regulates parasailing operators. However, this is false. Parasailing is unregulated by federal and state laws. It is up to the operators to inspect their equipment and take all safety precautions. There have been several attempts to pass legislation regarding the safety and licensing of operators, however they have failed. The only requirements regarding parasailing are the US Coast Guard approval of the boat, the boating license and life preservers; the equipment associated with parasailing.
Several attempts to pass legislation in the state of Florida have failed. The only prerequisite to take out passengers to parasail is a green light from the US Coast guard after they have verified that you have a valid license, life preservers and a seaworthy boat. When it comes to the equipment being used for the parasailing activity itself, there aren’t any regulations in place to protect the passengers safety or anyone to check the equipment’s safety before use.
Reported incidents show victims being pulled through palm trees, being hurled into buildings, falling several hundreds of feet and then dragged under the water which resulted in their drowning. Others have sustained fractured bones, sprains, brain injuries and even death. Over the last ten years the number of parasailing operators has declined, however the number of injuries has risen by an alarming 15%.
The primary cause of parasailing fatalities is due to the tow line separating from the boat due to high winds resulting in a water landing. A parasailing chute that has separated from the tow line can continue to be inflated by the wind, while dragging the passenger through the water. In addition to a plethora of other factors even down to faulty operators and captains. Personal injury is still tough to navigate without the knowledge of a personal injury attorney to help prove fault. If you are on vacation and suffer an injury due to parasailing, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer with Zimmerman & Frachtman. We represent clients visiting from out of town and local residents alike. Call us today for a free case review.