Is parasailing regulated in Florida? The popular water sport has led to tragedy before
In this Sept. 24, 2012 photo, two people parasail over the Miami Beach,Fla. area.
Soaring high above the ocean off South Beach, tethered only by a rope to a boat hundreds of feet below
riding in a parasail is at once exhilarating and oddly peaceful, even quiet.
For millions of people, that’s the takeaway from a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But every year there are accidents, some of them fatal.
The Parasail Safety Council, which tracks injuries and deaths from the activity nationwide
reports more than 70 people have been killed and at least 1,600 injured between 1982 and 2012, out of an estimated 150 million parasail rides during those 30 years.
Despite the inherent risk, few federal or state safety regulations exist for parasailing.
In Florida, which has by far the largest number of parasail operators at about 120, repeated efforts to enact new rules following fatal accidents have landed with a thud.