Two teen girls vacationing in Florida from Indiana suffered serious injuries after the parasail they were riding in, run by Aquatic Adventures in Panama City Beach, broke free from its tow boat. Wind gusts propelled the parachute - while still carrying the two girls - into the Commodore hotel before dropping into a parking lot full of cars.
Both girls are in critical condition after the accident that slammed them into the high rise hotel as well as into several cars in the parking lot.
A storm came up while the teen tourists were parasailing and attempts to reel in the chute were unsuccessful. The boat operators dropped anchor to stop the boat from being drug up onshore; the parachute then became detached from the tow boat, sending the girls on a dangerous, unexpected ride.
Aquatic Adventures was one of the strongest opponents of a bill that failed to pass the Florida legislature that would have required tougher rules on parasailing companies in this state. At that time, a managing partner of Aquatic Adventures insisted that the industry was self-regulating and creating its own set of safety standards to protect its guests.
Six people have died in Florida parasailing accidents since 1998. A total of 33 parasailing incidents have been reported during that same time period. According to the Parasail Safety Council, 73 people have been killed in a fatal parasailing accident in the last 30 years. The vast majority of these fatal incidents were blamed on unplanned water landings in which passengers could not get out of the parasail's harness system.
Source: Parasailing Safety Questioned Following Florida Mishap That Injured Two teens," July 2, 2013