A settlement may have been reached for the two Indiana teens who suffered serious injuries in a Florida Panhandle parasailing incident, but the attorney for one of the girls says the case is still not over for the victims.

A bill regulating the parasailing industry is among 32 new laws set to take effect Wednesday. And, the head of Florida’s water sports association says the state’s parasailing industry is ready.

The "White-Miskell" Act

In January, Sen Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach) said she’d never go up in a parasail with an industry that doesn’t have any uniform standards.


A bill regulating Florida’s parasailing industry and another helping foster kids obtain driver's licenses are among the measures now heading to Governor Rick Scott.

Parasail Bill

The measure—which never had a hearing for several years—got one this year, following a parasailing accident that happened in Senate President Don Gaetz’ district and received national attention.

Water Sports Industry Association (

A measure aimed at regulating Florida’s parasail industry is heading to the House floor. But, the newly expanded bill almost became collateral damage, after an initial attempt to pass the bill in its last committee failed.

The Original Bill

Florida’s parasailing industry gained national attention, after two Indiana teens were seriously injured in a Panhandle parasailing accident last year. Authorities say bad weather and heavy winds played a main role in that particular incident.

MGN Online

The Florida Senate approved a slew of measures, teed up some others, and put several measures on hold. They range from an inmate porn ban to a bill stiffening the penalties for hit-and-run drivers.

Flood Insurance Bill

The Florida Senate started off the Session by quickly passing St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes’ Florida Insurance legislation. The measure aims to make it easier for private companies to sell flood insurance.

“Senator Brandes, you are recognized on the bill,” said Senate President Don Gaetz.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

After several years of never being taken up in the Florida Legislature, a bill seeking to regulate the state’s parasailing industry is now heading to the Senate Floor. It’s a popular water sport in the Sunshine State that’s ended in tragedy for some.

It was in 2007 when Crystal White and her little sister Amber went parasailing in Pompano Beach.

Capital Report: 03-19-2014

Mar 19, 2014

Widely loved former Florida governor Reubin Askew was memorialized in Tallahassee this week before being laid to rest in his home town of Pensacola. As Jessica Palombo reports, those whose lives Askew touched got the chance to pay their respects as he lay in state at the Historic Capitol Tuesday and at a church service today [Wednesday].

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A couple of victims of Florida parasailing accidents and their families traveled to Tallahassee Thursday. They advocated on behalf of a bill aiming to regulate Florida’s parasailing industry, which unanimously passed its first Senate hearing.

Alexis Fairchild Recalls Her Accident

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

An Indiana teenager who was injured in a Panama City Beach parasailing incident last summer is suing the company responsible, and is expected to testify at a committee hearing next month in favor of a bill that could help put uniform safety standards in place for Florida’s parasailing industry.

Parasail Bill Hearing

If you asked Delray Beach Democratic Senator Maria Sachs if she’d parasail now, her answer would be “no.”

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

For the fourth time, a state senator will try to enact uniform safety standards for the state’s parasailing industry. A provision in the bill that states that all parasail operators must have insurance has some saying that’s just the teeth the legislation needs to keep the unregulated industry from blowing in the breeze.

On the docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar in Destin, the wind causes flags to flap and large boats anchored to the dock to sway left and right—not ideal weather for parasailing.

Capital Report: 11-01-2013

Nov 1, 2013

For many uninsured Floridians, the federal government’s online marketplace offers an opportunity to obtain health insurance—the cost of which will be heavily subsidized. But glitches in the site have made signing up a challenge, and an increasing number of people are turning to local resources for help. But as Lynn Hatter reports, in North Florida, that help is proving hard to find.

Water Sports Industry Association

A bill aiming to make the parasailing industry safer will look different than in years past when it’s next discussed by the Florida Legislature. The bill’s sponsor says instead of having the government regulate the industry, parasail operators would regulate themselves.

It’s the fourth consecutive year the legislation has been filed. In years past, the bill has allowed for government regulation of the parasailing industry, but Delray Beach Senator Maria Sachs says she worked out a compromise to give the bill a chance of passage.

Capital Report: 07-19-2013

Jul 22, 2013

In the course of the average week, many visitors will come and go in the office of Governor Rick Scott.  But it’s seldom that people come and stay and stay and then stay some more.  That happened this week in the wake of last Saturday’s not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case.  As this edition of Capital Report went to air, several of those people were still camped in the outer office of the governor at the State Capitol.  Ryan Benk tells us why.

U.S. Coast Guard Investigators are confirming that severe weather conditions and the boat’s closeness to shore were major contributors in a Panhandle parasailing accident in early July. The two girls injured in the incident are recuperating in Indiana, but their story is prompting Florida lawmakers to revisit regulating the state’s parasailing industry.

The Parasailing Crash

The two girls involved in a recent Panhandle parasailing crash are now back home in Indiana. But, their story may foster more discussion in Florida. The incident is spurring a couple of Florida lawmakers to renew their push to regulate the parasailing industry.

Legislation aimed at regulating parasailing in Florida is set to be filed for next year’s 2014 Legislative Session. It’ll be the fourth consecutive year such a bill is written. But, Deerfield Beach Democratic Representative Gwendolyn Clarke-Reed says she believes this time her measure has a better chance.