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Pompano Beach Parasailing Accident Kills Vacationer

A South Florida visitor was killed in a parasaling accident at Pompano Beach. According to NBC6, the woman fell about 200 feet when she was parasailing with her husband. The accident occurred just after 3:15 p.m. when her harness broke.

According to Sandra King, the city’s spokeswoman, the man’s harness didn’t break, so after the woman fell, the boat operators were able to reel him back down to the boat after losing the woman.
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They later found his wife face-down in the water. Boaters attempted to perform CPR on her while they called 9-1-1 and brought her into the Hillsboro Inlet. Officials with the Pompano Beach Fire-Rescue continued CPR and administered “advanced life support” to the woman. At that point, she was in cardiac arrest. She was then taken to Broward Health North and was immediately listed in critical condition. Later that afternoon, she was pronounced dead.

Our Broward County personal injury attorneys understand that a fall to the water from 150 to 200 feet in the air is just like hitting a brick wall. Vacationers and visitors to our east coast beaches look forward to these kinds of attractions to bring some excitement to their day in the sun. Unfortunately, many overlook the dangers and the risks that are associated with these kinds of activities. This particular couple was vacationing in the area from Connecticut.

The company that was operating the boat is based in Pompano Beach. The company’s website promoted parasailing in particular while emphasizing safety.

Officials with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and with the Broward Sheriff’s Office are looking into the accident. Officials spent hours talking with workers from the company.

Back in 2007, another tourist was killed in a woman in a similar accident in the city. But did you know that parasailing is actually an unregulated watersport that is not overseen by any government agency? Companies aren’t required to report any sort of specific information to authorities.

Because of this lack of enforcement, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher has been rallying legislators.

“And so here we are today, losing another life, because of no inspections and no opportunities to make sure that this equipment is safe,” said Fisher.

Statistics that deal with parasailing accidents, injuries and fatalities are tough to come by because this sport is not federally regulated. One report concludes that there have been close to 350 who were injured or killed in these accidents from 1980 and 2010.

Common causes of parasailing injuries:

-Falls, oftentimes from great heights, like the recent Pompano Beach accident.

-Drowning.

-Collisions with buildings and other large objects.

-Mechanical failure of boats or other towing vehicles

-Failure of parachutes, harnesses and other safety equipment.

Both residents and visitors are cautioned about these companies. We’re not saying they’re bad, we’re just saying that they’re not federally regulated. It’s important to make sure that you do your homework before selecting a company to do business with. Ask for inspections, background information and any other related safety information necessary to make an informed decision.

If you have been injured in a accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-529-2368.

Additional Resources:

Parasailing Woman Dies After Falling About 200 Feet in Water Off Pompano Beach, by Edward B. Colby, NBC6

More Blog Entries:

Florida Tourist Killed in Parasailing Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 10, 2011

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