Parasailing bill passes committee - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Parasailing bill passes committee

Posted: Updated:
The Florida Senate committee hears tearful testimony for changes in parasailing safety guidelines. The Florida Senate committee hears tearful testimony for changes in parasailing safety guidelines.

By KAREEM COPELAND
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill that would provide safety guidelines for parasailing companies after hearing tearful testimonies from a 17-year-old who suffered a brain injury and broken bones in her spine and from a mother whose daughter died while doing the recreational sport.

The legislation approved Thursday details specific insurance, equipment and license requirements, along with weather conditions that dictate a halt in operation in Florida.

Sen. Maria Sachs sponsored the bill. The Delray Beach Democrat says it's her No. 1 priority for this year's session.

"If I fail, then people can be injured or killed," Sachs said. "We're tired of these types of injuries that could have been prevented if, in fact, those operators had followed the minimum requirements of not going out when there's a lightning storm or if there are wind gusts over 20 mph."

The parasailing industry received national attention in recent years with several deaths and accidents involving the unregulated activity in Florida.

In parasailing, people wear parachutes and are lifted into the air when a motor boat pulls on the tow rope they are attached to.

The bill proposes that operators carry $1 million in insurance, have a license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard and have certain equipment on the boat.

Alexis Fairchild, who suffered the brain injury, and the mother of Amber White, who died in the 2007, made pleas through tears to the committee. White's sister Crystal, who was also injured in the accident, was scheduled to speak, but became too emotional to address committee members.

Fairchild and a friend slammed into a condominium, hit a power line and struck a parked car in 2013. She had to relearn basic motor skills and was forced to drop out of her normal Indiana high school. Fairchild had to wear a helmet and back brace at her new school.

White and her sister smashed into the roof of a two-story home after the rope attached to the boat broke in 2007. They were then pulled into a tree.

Kathleen Miskell died after her parasail harness broke and she plummeted as much as 200 feet into the Atlantic Ocean in 2012.

"It's my senior year and it's been flipped," Fairchild told the committee. "I should be out doing senior things, making memories, going on spring break. I spend my time at home or at doctor appointments. That's not how I pictured it. I can't go to regular school because it's not safe."

She said after the meeting, "How many other people need to be hurt or even killed before this passes? When is it enough?"

Sachs said she has the support of the Parasail Safety Council, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Water Sports Industry Association, though not 100 percent of the industry backs the legislation. Two previous bills regulating parasailing did not pass.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • On Deco DriveMore>>

  • Flourish at The Palms Hotel and Spa

    Flourish at The Palms Hotel and Spa

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:54 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:54:55 GMT
    Flourish at The Palms Hotel and Spa.Flourish at The Palms Hotel and Spa.
    They say, if you're good to your body, it will be good to you. So why not treat it to something nice and zen ... and something healthy and something tasty at the same time? Luckily, Deco found the perfect once-a-week event to do just that. Ohmmmmm...
    They say, if you're good to your body, it will be good to you. So why not treat it to something nice and zen ... and something healthy and something tasty at the same time? Luckily, Deco found the perfect once-a-week event to do just that. Ohmmmmm...
  • Thirstie App

    Thirstie App

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:16 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:16:51 GMT
    Thirstie, an on-demand liquor delivery app.Thirstie, an on-demand liquor delivery app.
    You can get a lot of things delivered to your home: pizza, Chinese food, pool boys with washboard abs. Thanks to a new app, you can get the party started with on-demand bottle service. Deco checked out a new service called Thirstie. Now you can tap that app and have a bottle of bubbly delivered right to your door.
    You can get a lot of things delivered to your home: pizza, Chinese food, pool boys with washboard abs. Thanks to a new app, you can get the party started with on-demand bottle service. Deco checked out a new service called Thirstie. Now you can tap that app and have a bottle of bubbly delivered right to your door.
  • Cirque Dreams

    Cirque Dreams

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:58:00 GMT
    The biggest Cirque production this side of vegas is in So. Flo. and from creating the concept to making a dream come true for a young star, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy has plenty of 305 flava.
    The biggest Cirque production this side of vegas is in So. Flo. and from creating the concept to making a dream come true for a young star, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy has plenty of 305 flava.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Flight bans show skittishness over trouble spots

    Flight bans show skittishness over trouble spots

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:12:03 GMT
    By The Associated Press Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
    By The Associated Press When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots...
  • Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:11:53 GMT
    After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...
    Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia's U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a nationally significant general election matchup against Democrat Michelle Nunn.
  • New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

    New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:53:36 GMT
    A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.
    A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the...
  • National SportsMore>>

  • Pyeongchang's 2018 Olympic committee faced audit

    Pyeongchang's 2018 Olympic committee faced audit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:01:16 GMT
    South Korean officials say the organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has been under investigation over its preparations for the games.
    The organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has been under investigation over its preparations for the games, South Korean officials said.
  • Jets eliminating paper season tickets

    Jets eliminating paper season tickets

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:20:50 GMT
    The New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets for season ticket holders, while offering those fans a rewards plan for showing up regularly and behaving properly.
    The New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets for season ticket holders and offering those fans a rewards plan for showing up regularly and behaving properly.
  • CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays

    CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:03:48 GMT
    Richard Parsons, the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, is due to step into the battle of billionaires going on in probate court over the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.
    The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.