Politics

Should Parasailing Be Regulated in Florida?

In 2007, 15-year-old Amber White was parasailing in Pompano Beach with her sister when winds picked up, the tow line broke, and White slammed into a building and died. Last year, 17-year-old Alexis Fairchild was parasailing in Panama City when again winds picked up, the line snapped, and she and her teenaged friend slammed into a building. There have been 20 injuries and six deaths since 2001, according to the Daytona News-Journal.

Today, Fairchild will join State Sen. Maria Sachs in a call for the industry to be more tightly regulated. Sachs has introduced a bill in the Legislature. Similar bills have been introduced and failed before, but Sachs believes this time is different because the parasailing industry backs her bill.

According to her website, Sach's bill "requires commercial parasailing companies to carry insurance, to have an employee on the boat to monitor customers in the air, and to ensure that drivers stop services when weather conditions are unfavorable." Operators would also be required to keep a weather log.

Fairchild's family is suing parasail company Aquatic Adventures Management Group and the hotel where she stayed that offered the parasailing activity. The youth suffered brain injuries and had three skull surgeries.

Sach's news conference takes place at 8:30 at the state Capitol building.

Here's the full text of the parasailing bill.

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