It has been nearly seven years since Amber May White was killed in a tragic parasailing accident. Amber’s death began a call for better regulation of the parasailing industry, and after several House and Senate hearings, bill revisions, and petition signatures, the parasailing law known as the White-Miskell Act – which Chalik & Chalik adamantly and actively supported – has come to pass.
Beginning October 1, the White-Miskell Act goes into effect. It requires parasail operators to log the weather conditions before taking guests on trips and does not allow them to operate in severe weather. The act also requires parasailing operators to be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard and that excursions are not conducted within a certain radius of airports.
New Parasailing Law Brings Much Needed Regulation to the Industry
Prior to the new parasailing law there were no laws regulating the parasailing industry. Operators were not required to follow any type of licensing standards and had no requirement to conduct safety checks on equipment, weather, or air hazards.
There have been several high profile parasailing accidents since Amber May White’s tow line snapped in 2007. The bill was also named for Kathleen Miskell, a 28-year-old woman who was killed in August 2012 after her parasailing harness detached and caused a fatal fall. Unregulated equipment standards were partially to blame for these accidents, along with operator negligence in keeping equipment in good condition and repairing or replacing it when necessary.
The most recent accident was one that revitalized the need for regulatory laws. In July 2013 two Indiana teens were seriously injured when their parasail became disconnected from the boat and lost control, crashing the girls into a hotel parking lot in Panama City Beach. Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) had a hand in urging the parasailing industry to develop regulations for training and equipment maintenance after this incident.
The new parasailing law could not have happened without the dedication of Florida Senator Maria Sachs and the thousands of Floridians who signed petitions supporting the bill. Chalik & Chalik is proud to have been a part of this effort and hopes that the new regulations will prevent tragedies like these from ever happening again.
Chalik & Chalik Fight to Prevent Accidents through Legislation
At Chalik & Chalik, we believe that prevention is the best resolution to injury claims. Attorneys Jason and Debi Chalik are active in their community, raising awareness for serious safety concerns such as the lack of regulation in the parasailing industry.
However, no amount of laws or regulation can completely stop accidents from happening. Chalik & Chalik is here to help your family if a member is seriously injured or killed due to another’s negligence. Call 855-529-0269 or reach out to us via our contact form for more information on how our family can help your family.