Parasailing safety procedures after accident in Pompano Beach

No state or federal regulations for parasailing

SINGER ISLAND, Fla. - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating Wednesday's deadly parasailing accident off Pompano Beach, which killed 28-year-old Kathleen Miskell. She plunged 200 feet into the ocean after her harness broke.

Such accidents are rare-- but it got us thinking about just how safe it is to parasail?

Shane Washington is visiting Palm Beach County and is parasailing for the first time.

"Initially there was a wave of emotion, sort of apprehension. However we felt safe, we did the research, and knew that we were going to have fun."

Parasailing was on Shane and his friend Michael's list while in town. "That was a lot of fun! A great way to celebrate my 34th birthday."

But how safe is it?  

There have been several parasailing accidents in the state over the years, most having to do with weather.

In 2007 a 15-year-old girl was killed when a gust of wind snapped the line and sent her into a building. In yesterday's accident it appears "equipment failure" may be to blame.

 "We're conscious of how important it is to take care of all of our equipment safely, between jet skis and parasailing and even children's camps that we do. Obviously safety is our number one priority," said Leigh Kendall from visitpalmbeach.com

Before riders are sent up in the air, straps and clips are checked and double checked and detailed instructions are given.

"Everything was executed quite well, the safety measures, the way we were harnessed in, I felt completely safe." Washington said.

Visit Palm Beach has a perfect track record but would still welcome stricter regulations.

"There has been legislature proposed having to do with parasailing and regulations and we're all for any kind of safety measures that would improve the equipment safety and general operations." Kendall said.

That proposed legislation didn't pass... so there are no state or federal regulations for parasailing, leaving it up to the customer to make sure they're choosing a safe ride.
 

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