Parasailing is a popular activity for both Florida residents and for visitors to our area. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the safest activities to do around here. There is no government regulation of any of kind and safety concerns abound as dozens of operators take to the coastline to make a buck.
Because of the lack of oversight, consumers continue to be at high risk of accident. Residents and visitors are strapping to unsafe equipment that hasn’t been inspected or properly replaced, and it’s threatening lives.
According to ABC News, one of these horrific accidents claimed the life of a young women celebrating her anniversary in Pompano Beach. This accident took the life of a 28-year-old woman from Connecticut. She was parasailing with her husband off of Pompano Beach when she slipped from the harness. She fell close to 200 feet to the water below.
Our Pompano Beach personal injury attorneys understand that there have been close to 450 people who have been seriously injured in parasailing accidents over the last 30 years. According to the Parasail Safety Council, more than 70 people have died during this period. Most of the fatalities were the result of them drowning in the water after falling from their harness as well as from getting entangled in the ropes.
“There’s no mandated rule that a person has to change his rope at a certain cycle period or change a canopy at a certain cycle period or even change a harness or any of the equipment,” said Mark McCuloh, head of the Parasail Safety Council.
The truth of the matter is that these companies and operators should never be allowed to profit from thrill-seeking beach goers without being required to meet specific safety regulations, or without having someone regularly verify this compliance.
The state of Florida currently has an inspection program in place for carnival rides, but nothing on the books for parasailing. The carnival ride safety inspection program was enacted after a number of deaths on carnival equipment. Still, there’s nothing for parasailing and injuries and fatalities continue on.
Unfortunately, agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration and the Coast Guard still only have limited jurisdiction over this industry and they don’t have the proper resources to overlook or inspect these operation. Back in 2007 and 2008, Florida Legislature considered regulatory proposals, but all were denied.
County governments can do this though! They’re in the best position to provide a reasonable degree of protection by simple regulations, inspections and licensing. County officials are already spending their time and money on making sure that our beaches are properly groomed and attractive, they can and should do more to them safer for everyone too — and start by regulating parasailing safety!
Until then, professionals in this industry should remember that they have an important responsibility to make sure that they’re conducting business in a safe, responsible and respectable manner.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Gonzalez & Sharp to discuss your rights. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Beach Drivers Under New Regulations in Florida
, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 6, 2012