Efforts to regulate the parasailing industry began in 2007 after a 15-year-old was killed in an accident in Pompano Beach. Those initial attempts failed, and despite another accident last year in Pompano that took the life of a 28-year-old woman, no regulations were passed during the latest legislative session.
But after another accident last month in Panama City Beach, the push to regulate the parasailing industry is once again gaining momentum.
In 2012, Pompano Beach city commissioners passed a resolution urging lawmakers in Tallahassee to enact safety regulations. City officials also directed their lobbying firms to petition the state Legislature, but no action was taken on the state level.
“It’s not only disappointing, it’s extremely frustrating that individuals continue to put their lives in danger when they shouldn’t be,” Pompano Mayor Lamar Fisher said. “It doesn’t make sense that we wouldn’t regulate an industry that has a proven mortality rate.”
State Sen. Maria Sachs filed a bill in response to the death of Kathleen Miskell, 28, who fell nearly 200 feet to the ocean after her harness broke while parasailing off Pompano last year. Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed filed a companion bill in the House, but it failed to get out of the committee process, effectively dooming the senate bill. Attempts to pass regulation also failed in 2011 when lawmakers discussed the drafted bills but never voted on them.