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Woman dies of injuries from parasailing accident on Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — The woman who suffered severe injuries from a Labor Day weekend parasailing accident has died, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Alejandra White, 27, a tourist who was parasailing with her fiance when the line broke, died at 11:31 a.m. Saturday, commission spokesman Gary Morse said Sunday.

The commission is one of the agencies investigating the accident, which happened Sept. 5 off Clearwater Beach when high winds apparently caused the line between White's parachute and the towboat to snap.

Her fiance, Shaun Ladd, 31, also was strapped into the parasail rig, but was able to free himself from the runaway chute and fell into the water, sustaining minor injuries.

White, however, was dragged onshore behind the chute, and hit a number of beach umbrellas before striking a post on a volleyball court.

She was taken in critical condition to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

White and Ladd were visiting from Georgia.

White worked at the North Atlanta Chiropractic Center as a certified chiropractic assistant. Her family and colleagues could not be reached Sunday evening.

The parasail operator, Sky Screamer Parasail of Clearwater Beach, is under investigation. Morse said the inquiry will "continue for at least six to eight weeks."

The company was not answering its business phone Sunday evening.

Several people have been killed or injured in parasailing accidents in Florida over the past 20 years, but the industry remains largely unregulated.

No state or federal agency inspects or certifies parasailing equipment, and no specific license is given to parasailing operations.

The Legislature has consistently rejected attempts to pass laws regulating the industry.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which issues permits for parasail boats, has declined to intervene.

Woman dies of injuries from parasailing accident on Clearwater Beach 09/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 7:08am]
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