Skip to main content

VIDEO: Florida parasailing law follows 2013 accident

On the one-year anniversary of a July 1, 2013, parasailing accident in Panama City Beach, Fla., that critically injured two Indiana teens, a state law that prohibits parasailing in certain weather conditions and requires companies to carry insurance went into effect.

Under the new law, parasailing companies can't operate if winds are 35 mph.

In conjunction with the law, the Coast Guard Auxiliary will begin offering free boat-safety inspections to local parasail operators. However, the auxiliary is not authorized to inspect the actual parasailing equipment, according to a WJHG news report. It has inspected four commercial parasailing vessels this year, according to the report.

"If there's something wrong, because they're auxiliary, can educate them versus issue a fine,” said Coast Guard Lieutenant Mike Clausen. “If we were to stop them on the water, being active-duty Coast Guard, we'd have to take an enforcement action against them."

Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good were parasailing last July when the line to the boat snapped, sending them flying into a hotel balcony and onto a parked car. Both girls have had several surgeries and continue to recover.

Local attorney Wes Pittman said the law “is woefully inadequate because the speeds that are lawful to fly under this new legislation are still above the speed at which the parasailing lines snapped one year ago."

He added that parasail operators currently are not required to have equipment inspected.



MMTA Sets Date for Conference

The educational Business of Boating Conference will be held in Foxboro, Mass., with in-person and remote attendance options.


AkzoNobel Nominates Board Member

Ben Noteboom is expected to be elected chair to succeed the retiring Nils Andersen.


Neptune Awards Adds Category

“Boat Show Marketing” will recognize promotional efforts for shows, and entries will be accepted until Dec. 18.


Sailing Convention for Women Returns

Postponed during Covid, the event will include on-water training, networking opportunities and workshops.


MBIA Names Board Members

The Michigan Boating Industries Association elected four new directors and named the officers who will serve next year. Also, the 2023 schedule for “Ladies Let’s Go Fishing!” is taking shape.


CL Yachts Expands Dealer Network

The Hong Kong-based builder added retail locations in Australia, Dubai, Singapore and Macau.


Legend Boats Partners With Boat Fix

The Canadian builder will offer the telematics system, which provides tracking, monitoring and 24-7 service, on new models starting next year.


MarineMax Establishes Technology Division

The company’s Boatyard and Boatzon units will operate under the new entity, New Wave Innovations.