THIS MUST STOP! It is time for a serious call to action. The rogue parasailing industry MUST be regulated before more catastrophic injuries occur.
PLEASE JOIN ME and sign the petition in support of The Amber May Law.
I have been calling for the regulation of the parasailing industry since the tragic death of Amber May White more than three years ago in Pompano Beach, Florida. Terrible accidents and serious personal injuries continue. The latest occurred just two days ago during the Labor Day weekend, and was reported by the St. Petersburg Times. On Sunday afternoon a 27-year-old Florida vacationer from Georgia and her fiancé saw their happy holiday weekend turn ugly when their parasailing adventure in Clearwater went dangerously awry. The tether between the woman’s harness and the towboat snapped, crashed her into the sand, dragged her along the beach, and slammed her into beach umbrellas and a volleyball court post. She was left with life-threatening injuries. Her fiancé landed in the water, sustaining minor injuries. As of last night, the woman was in a St. Petersburg Medical Center in critical condition.
Chief lifeguard Donavan Burns of Clearwater Beach stated that there was “a significantly sized storm… we saw it coming for hours.” He said the winds picked up and were gusting over 34 mph in the area. Burns said they closed down the entire beach because of lightening, just after the incident.
As the St. Petersburg Times reports, there are no laws regulating when parasailing companies can or cannot take customers out on the water, despite the string of parasailing accidents that continue to be reported.
Former state Sen. Jim Sebesta, R-St. Petersburg, proposed legislation to tighten regulation on the industry three years in a row, the last time in 2006. Each time it failed. The proposed law, among other things, would have banned parasailing when gusts were 23 mph or higher.