Just last summer, 17-year-old Alexis Fairchild and her friend Sidney Good were critically injured in Panama City, Fla. when strong winds snapped their parasail free from the tow boat. Despite the fact that between 1982 and 2012, 73 people have died and another 1,600 have been injured in parasailing accidents, the industry operates virtually unregulated. Something has got to change, and we are almost there.
We are encouraged that Florida’s Senate and House have passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Maria Sachs creating regulations that will require operators to have $1 million in insurance, carry real-time weather equipment on board their vessels and prevent them from operating when weather conditions deteriorate.
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We are hopeful that Governor Scott will sign this most important legislation, which will make parasailing operators more responsible while reducing the incidence of serious injuries and fatalities. Let’s send a message that Florida is a state that cares about the safety of its residents and visitors.
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