A Connecticut woman was parasailing tandem with her husband in Pompano Beach yesterday afternoon when the unthinkable happened. Her safety harness broke and she fell about 200 feet.
The victim, identified as 28-year-old Kathleen Miskell, was taken to Broward Health North, where attempts to save her life were unsuccessful.
After Miskell fell into the water, the boat operator reeled her in but found her lying face-first in the water. CPR was administered immediately until Pompano Beach Fire-Rescue arrived and administered "advanced life support."
Her husband, whose harness did not break, was brought down and reeled in slowly.
"She fell between 150 and 200 feet face-down into the ocean," said Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisherand. "That's like hitting a brick wall, and the husband unfortunately had to witness it."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Broward Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident. Employees from Wave Blast, the company that the couple hired to take them parasailing, were interviewed by authorities.
This is the second parasailing fatality off Pompano Beach since 2007. The summer of that year, a Summerfield woman's parasailing line snapped in strong winds, throwing her body onto the roof of a hotel. The investigation later revealed that the boat operator had ignored a thunderstorm warning.
Parasailing companies operate in Florida with little to no regulation from state or federal governments. Bills in the state Legislature to impose safety standards have repeatedly failed to pass.