Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Proposed parasailing bill would require insurance coverage, quick-release safety devices

A bill calling for stricter regulation, safer equipment requirements and insurance policies for commercial parasailing operators is set to hit the upcoming legislative session.

Those who have worked on the bill are optimistic that, unlike past attempts, it will be taken seriously and passed swiftly.

"I'd say we're going to pass it," said Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, who is sponsoring the bill. "When it was introduced before, the problem was there wasn't really a companion bill in the House as well. That will not be the issue this time."

Senate Bill 392, called the "Alejandra White Act" in honor of the 27-year-old tourist who died in September after a parasailing accident, will require operators to carry insurance that covers at least $1 million per person in case of injury or death. It also calls for a quick-release harness system that will allow the rider to free themselves in an emergency.

The bill details rules that parasailing operators must follow, such as staying off the water during high winds and carrying a U.S. Coast Guard-issued license allowing them to carry passengers for hire.

Any operator who doesn't follow the new laws could face second-degree misdemeanor charges, according to the bill.

Mark McCulloh of the national Parasail Safety Council, who once favored allowing the industry to regulate itself, helped draft the bill. He said self-regulation didn't work, citing White's death as the most recent example.

He said he has talked to about 30 of the 75 known parasailing operators around the state and heard a lot of positive feedback, but he expects some resistance to the bill.

"The more you have to give instructions and take the time to help customers understand, the more it takes away from your revenue," McCulloh said. "Every time you add responsibilities to an operator's agenda, it's not always welcome."

But it's time for change, Jones said.

"We've killed 15 people in the last 20 years," he said. "We certainly have a responsibility to make the sport safer, especially to our Florida guests."

The bill will be introduced when this year's legislative session begins March 8. If it passes, the Alejandra White Act would take effect July 1.

Emily Nipps can be reached at nipps@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8452.

Proposed parasailing bill would require insurance coverage, quick-release safety devices 01/14/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.