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Parasail Accidents in Fort Lauderdale: Safety Bill Proposed for Industry

Florida legislators recently announced that they were going to make a proposal to tighten up parasailing safety regulations. The proposal comes after a recent parasailing accident we told you about on our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog in which a tourist plunged more than 100 feet to the waters below in Pompano Beach.

The bill that’s going to be introduced during the next legislative session would make sure that there are more safety inspections of these companies, that operations don’t happen too close to the shoreline and that there will be more standards in place to protect customers. There have been other proposals in the past, but none of them have passed. Supporters of the bill say that it’s all in an effort to stop people from being killed in these kinds of accidents.

Our Fort Lauderdale accident lawyers understand that carnivals are inspected when they come into town and these beach “rides” should have to undergo the same inspections, too! We can’t have these tragedies continue to occur along our shoreline.

The most recent bill is named the “White-Miskell bill.” It’s named in honor of the victims in two fatal Pompano Beach parasailing accidents. One was the accident that happened weeks ago and the other was the accident that happened five years ago in which a 15-year-old girl was allowed to go up with her sister even though there was a thunderstorm approaching. Because of the wind, the line that the girls were attached to snapped and the girls flew ashore and slammed into the roof of a hotel, according to the Sun Sentinel.

According to the most recent calculations, there are somewhere between 70 and 120 parasailing companies throughout the state of Florida. Most of these are in areas that have heavy tourist populations, like Fort Lauderdale. There’s a little bit of regulation from the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration over these operations, but no one agency sets or even enforces any safety standards.

Under the proposed bill, these operations would not be able to take place when weather is poor, when power lines or other fixed objects are nearby, when companies don’t have the proper insurance, when equipment has not been inspected or when the towline doesn’t meet a strength standard of 4,800 pounds.

“Any business that can’t operate with safety standards shouldn’t be in business anyway,” said state Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach.

Advocates are hoping that these safety standards will help to weed out any unsafe and irresponsible companies.

Still, there are people in our state’s government who believe that certain activities don’t need to be regulated. But how many people have to die before we enact some sort of safety regulation?.

Still, all safety bills that have been introduced in the past have died in committee. Fingers are crossed for this one.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Gonzalez & Sharp to discuss your case . Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at 1-800-561-7777.

Additional Resources:

Parasailing safety proposal announced, by David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

Pompano Beach Parasailing Accident Kills Vacationer, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 21, 2012

Pompano Beach Parasailing Accident Takes Life of Tourist, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 6, 2012

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