Florida Senate President Don Gaetz spoke out earlier this week to make another push for Senator Sachs’ failed bill that would put restrictions in place for the currently unregulated Florida parasailing industry. Though the did not survive in 2013, as President through the 2014 session Senator Gaetz is in a good position to help this legislation gain enough momentum to pass.
With 20 injuries and 6 deaths resulting from 20 parasailing accidents over the past 12 ½ years, the recent accident involving two 17 year old girls in Panama City Beach, FL has brought the lack of regulations required for the parasailing industry to light. Right now, parasailing boats do not have to have insurance, do not have to carry marine weather radios, and have no requirements for rope inspections or replacements of sails.
Senator Sachs’ proposed bill in the 2013 legislative session would have required parasailing companies to carry at least $2 million in insurance coverage and would require them to carry a weather radio. The bill would also have placed a ban on operating in high winds or inclement weather.
Perhaps with this gained momentum, legislation involving parasailing regulations will have a better chance at passage. “Without any type of regulatory system people are dying,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford of Wesley Chapel. “We need to find a way to try to clamp down on some of the challenges that we have in that industry.”