Shannon Kraus is a mother on a mission. Seven years after the death of her 15 year-old daughter and a brain injury to her 17 year-old, Shannon has succeeded in getting some measure of parasailing regulation passed in Florida.
Working with her attorney, John Leighton of Leighton Law, P.A., and countless hours of meetings with state and local legislators, plus continued parasailing injuries and deaths each year, the Florida Legislature finally passed a law to regulate parasailing safety:
The new law can be found at: www.Leightonlaw.com/new-florida-statute-section-327-37-white-miskell-act/ and www.Leightonlaw.com/amber-may-law-passes-after-7-years-parasailing-finally-regulated/. The new law, known as the White-Miskell Act, is named for Shannon’s daughter Amber May White, who was buried on what would have been her 16th birthday.
Leighton and Kraus have spent the past seven years fighting special interests to have parasailing rules enacted in Florida. Kathleen Miskell was killed two years ago while parasailing off the very same beach that took Amber May’s life.
Although the law does not go as far as many safety advocates would have liked, it is a first step in the right direction in regulating parasailing operators. Prior to this, parasailing operators were completely unregulated and had no legal requirements governing their operations. They were not required to have insurance and could operate in any weather conditions.
NBC News reports that the National Transportation Safety Board will be seeking to have the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard regulate parasailing, citing eight serious accidents in four years:
Without regulation and strict rules, vacationers will continue to be injured and killed when parasailing.