Parasailing Crash Victim Pleads For Regulation

By: Cameron Taylor Email
By: Cameron Taylor Email

TALLAHASSEE - State legislators are moving ahead with a bill proposing regulations for parasailing companies. The bill comes after two Indiana teenagers were critically injured in a parasailing accident this past summer in Panama City Beach.

Two Indiana teenagers are trying to forget what happened to them when they went parasailing last summer in Panama City Beach.

"I don't remember hearing anything, I just remember feeling it in my body and just knowing that it snapped, and I remember screaming," said Alexis Fairchild, a parasailing crash victim.

The tow rope carrying 17 year olds Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good snapped. High winds caused the girls to smash into the Commodore Condominiums on Thomas Drive, bounce off a balcony, then crash into a parking lot.

"Our last 7 months have been awful watching my 17 year old daughter, who is a senior, turn into somebody that we had to do everything for again," said Angie Fairchild, Alexis' mother.

State Senator Maria Sachs and victim Alexis Fairchild are using the tragic experience to promote Sachs' latest attempt to pass tougher state parasailing regulations.

"They came here to Florida trusting our safety regulations and knowing and trusting the state of Florida to have common sense regulations," said Sen. Sachs.

Sachs' bill would require operators to carry $1 million in liability insurance, receive a license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, and carry certain safety equipment on board.

It would also prohibit parasailing in winds higher than 20 mph, or if there's lightning within 7 miles.

"We got to put regulations in place or other people are going to get killed or hurt. Just don't let this go mind-sided," said Fairchild.

The Senate Regulation Committee unanimously passed the bill Thursday. The House is considering a companion bill.


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