Prevent Deaths by Regulating Parasailing in Florida

800px-ParasailingDR

Target: Rick Scott, Governor of Florida

Goal: Enforce safety regulations for parasailing to prevent accidents

A recent parasailing accident in Pompano Beach, FL has brought attention to the safety procedures of this seemingly harmless tourist activity. This activity lifts participants hundreds of feet above the water with the support of a parachute and the force of a high speed boat. To the dismay of many, there are no regulations or safety guidelines for parasailing nationally, with the exception of Virginia and New Jersey. Roughly 120 parasailing companies operate in Florida, the most in any state, and none of them have to answer to safety guidelines.

Parasailing companies are not subject to any state or federal laws and do not have to run annual inspections of their equipment. Equipment that may be overused and deteriorating may never get replaced due to the lack of regulation. Training parasailing operators and teaching them safety precautions are also not required by law. The only thing the companies are required to attain is a valid boating license. The companies are getting away with so much and it is the tourists that are the victims.

The most recent victim of parasailing was 28-year-old Kathleen Miskell, who was enjoying her vacation time in Florida with her husband. Miskell, from Connecticut, was parasailing with her husband when she fell from her harness and plunged roughly 200 feet into the water. When the boat operators retrieved her from the water, Miskell was suffering from cardiac arrest and died. This horrific tragedy could have been prevented if the company, Wave Blast, and the many other companies in Florida, were subjected to safety regulations which would have checked the equipment to prevent malfunctions.

In 2007, a 15-year-old girl, Amber White, was thrown into a hotel rooftop after strong winds steered her parachute off course. Within the past years, advocates have introduced bills that would increase the safety of parasailing. However, none of these bills survived due to politics. Although parasailing deaths are uncommon, they are very preventable. Many of the deaths are caused by equipment malfunctions and by enforcing safety regulations, future accidents can be avoided. Tell Governor Rick Scott to enforce regulations to prevent future parasailing deaths.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Rick Scott,

The recent death of 28-year-old Kathleen Miskell was a tragic and unfortunate event. However, her death could have been prevented if there were a routine checkup of parasailing equipment. Florida, like the rest of the world (with the exception of Virginia and New Jersey) does not regulate parasailing. Parasailing companies are not required to carry safety devices, train their operators, or follow any safety guidelines. Equipment could be old and rusty and no one would know or care to regulate it.

Safety guidelines and regulations must be enforced to prevent any future parasailing accidents. It is amazing how a simple checkup can save lives and prevent injuries. Previous bills that aimed to improve the safety of parasailing were never successful because of politics. It is important to realize that the safety of humans should come first. You must support regulation of parasailing and help pass a law that would enforce it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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41 Signatures

  • Marianne Oelman
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
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  • Ricki Newman
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