Five years ago, the unthinkable happened to a family vacationing in Pompano Beach, Florida. Amber May White, then 15-years-old, and her sister Crystal, 17, went parasailing but their fun quickly turned to tragedy as a storm passed over the beach.
As the girls became engulfed by increasing winds, they yelled to the boater to stop the vessel and bring them down, but the boat kept going. Horrifically, the tow line snapped shortly after and the parasail untethered. The winds then sent the girls hurling into the roof of a hotel. Amber May died of her injuries, while her sister survived, but sustained permanent brain damage.
Devastated, the girls’ mother, Shannon Kraus, filed a negligence lawsuit against the parasail operator and reached a settlement out of court. But while we would like to think parasailing accidents are few and far between, almost five years to the day another accident took place eerily similar to that of the girls’ and close to the site of the original incident. This time, the accident involved 28-year-old Kathleen Miskell, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, who was parasailing in tandem with her husband when she suddenly slipped out of the harness that attached her to the chute. Miskell fell 150 feet to the water and was killed.
These are just three victims who have been involved in serious and deadly parasailing accidents over the past few years. According to the Parasail Safety Council, 429 people have sustained serious injuries from parasailing incidents in the United States alone and 72 have died of their injuries. What not many people know is that there are no government regulations in place to regulate the safety of parasailing equipment. In fact, the council explains that there aren’t even any requirements for the maintenance of parasailing equipment in general.
Florida is home to over half of these accidents, and even after Kraus and state legislators have pushed for regulations in the parasailing industry, nothing has changed. While parasailing accidents do not occur as frequently as traffic collisions or boating accidents, they still require and deserve the attention of state officials. Some parasailing accidents can happen by chance alone, but the vast majority are the direct result of someone’s negligence, which is precisely what happened to Kraus’ daughters.
Failure to check parasailing equipment can result in tragedies that could have easily been prevented, had someone bothered to examine the chutes and tenders more closely. And while the aftermath of such a tragedy cannot be undone, surviving victims and their loved ones can seek legal help for the injustices they have suffered.
If you or a loved one was injured or lost their life in a similar accident, you may be eligible to obtain compensation for negligence and wrongful death. Turn to us immediately for help in fighting for your rights and to ensure those responsible for the incident are held liable for their actions.
We have handled many parasailing cases in the past and are currently handling several parasailing injury claims. With the assistance of a parasailing accident lawyer on our team, you can rest assured your rights will be upheld and you and your loved ones will obtain the benefits you deserve for your pain and suffering, which include damages, lost wages and medical treatment.
Parasailing accidents and other maritime accidents, including boating collisions and jet ski accidents, can result in successful, significant recoveries with our help. Contact one of our experienced parasailing accident attorneys today to discuss your available options and take the steps to protect your rights.