Lawmaker Seeks Tighter Restrictions On Parasailing Companies

MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) — Responding to the recent death of a tourist in a parasailing accident off Pompano Beach, Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray , said Monday she will file legislation to place safety and insurance requirements on the largely unregulated parasailing industry.

The White-Miskell Bill,” is named for a pair of victims who died in separate accidents while parasailing in Florida.

The measure will bolster insurance and safety requirements for operators including restrictions on when and where parasailing can occur. It would also prohibit parasailing under certain weather conditions and prevent operation of the boat within certain proximities of power lines, wharfs, or other fixed objects.

Kathleen Miskell, 28,of Connecticut, died Aug. 15 after plummeting 200 feet into the Atlantic when a harness apparently broke.

Amber White, 15, was killed in 2007 when her parasailing line snapped in windy condition off Pompano Beach. She and her sister hit a beachfront hotel. Her sister survived.

An estimated 120 parasailing companies operate in the state. Currently, the only requirements for parasailing are a boat license and the U.S. Coast Guard’s approval of the vessel. Without any state or federal regulations, no inspection of equipment is required.

The new parasail legislation will be taken up during the 2013 session.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”

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