Lawmakers react to proposal for new parasailing regulations

12:56 AM, Feb 16, 2014   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- Lawmakers hope parasailing regulations will reach new heights as a proposal moves forward in government.

Most parasailing businesses were closed Saturday, saying conditions were too dangerous to be on the water. There were too many waves and it was too windy.

Clearwater Chamber of Commerce Board Member Alan Ebert says parasailing is part of life at the beach most days. "Exhilarating. The view is fantastic!"

But on a fateful day last year, something went terribly wrong when two girls collided with a condo at Panama City Beach.

Ebert admits, "Like many others, we have had some mishaps."

In Clearwater Beach in 2010, Alejandra White died and fiance Shaun Ladd was critically injured. Their attorney spoke with 10 News via Facetime.

"It was something that was supposed to be a fun afternoon, that changed so many lives."

He says this latest proposal sounds like déja vu, "We thought it would pass two years ago."

The proposal prohibits parasailing operations when sustained winds are 20 mph or higher and when lightning storms are within seven miles. Boat owners would have to have access to weather forecasts and have at least $1 million in bodily injury liability coverage.

Parasailing companies 10 News spoke with agree with Ebert, who says, "Always good to have regulation, to the point that it doesn't put people out of business ... hopefully it will be a safer sport."

The Parasail Safety Council says Florida has the largest number of parasail operations in the country.  

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