After a number of serious Florida personal injuries and fatalities caused by parasailing over the past few years – including the death of a Gwinnett County woman last year – legislators are considering a bill which would place additional controls on parasailers and the tourism industry. The bill would require insurance policies for all parasail operators as well as safer equipment.
In honor of the Gwinnett County woman who was killed by parasailing, the bill is being referred to as the “Alejandra White Act.” White and her soon-to-be-husband were parasailing over Labor Day weekend when the rope which linked the boat and the parachute broke. White’s fiancé was able to make a safe landing, but White was dragged along a beach and was impaled on a pole on the beach. She succumbed to her injuries in hospital days later.
Florida lawmakers have made previous attempts to pass laws which would control and restrict parasail operators in the state. However, over the past few years, no bill has passed. White’s death has provided additional motivation and a rallying cry for those who feel that the current lack of regulations lead to injuries and deaths. If the current bill passes, it may take effect as soon as July 1, during the tourist season.
Parasailing can be a safe sport, but advocates of the bill note that currently parasail operators have too few rules to ensure that tourists and residents are safe. There are many things which can go wrong during parsailing which can cause someone to fall from the sky without a parachute. Parachute malfunction and rope breakage are the most common accidents. They can cause serious Florida spinal cord injuries and fatal brain injuries because parasailers typically fall from a large height.
Some of those who oppose the bill note that the bill would force parasail operators to pay for expensive levels of insurance, even though insurance would not prevent accidents or injuries. They also note that the bill would increase costs for operators even though the parasail industry has a relatively low rate of accidents.
If you have sustained a Florida personal injury, contact the Flaxman Law Group for experienced legal advice and representation. The Flaxman Law Group has offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood to better serve the entire South Florida community. Call today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.