Parasailing needs more regulations, says NTSB

Parasailing needs more regulations, says NTSB
Published: Jul. 1, 2014 at 11:50 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 2, 2014 at 12:45 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 2012 parasailing death in Hawaii is one cited by NTSB investigators, urging the U.S. Coast Guard to develop regulations for operators nationwide.

The special report says parasailing is 'risky'. The NTSB investigation cites eight serious accidents in four years that resulted in eight deaths.

In January 2012, a California senior died after being dragged nearly 1000 feet off Kewalo Basin, when the towline parted while he was being reeled in by the Xtreme parasail vessel.

Alexis Fairchild survived a parasailing accident caught on camera in Florida.

After the tow line snapped, winds smashed the teenaged friends first into a 13-story building then a parking lot.

Fairchild says parasailing should be regulated, adding "I mean people are not just getting hurt, they're getting killed."

Her mother Angela explained, "I would just like to see some sort of regulations, whether it be the Coast Guard or the FAA it doesn't matter."

Tracy Murell, Director of the NTSB Office of Marine Safety said, "What we'd like to see is the FAA work with the Coast Guard to develop standards by which parasails should operate."

The NTSB report said, "There is no requirement for inspection of the parasailing equipment. Yet in all but one of the cases, the parasailing equipment itself failed."

The report blames poor judgment, training and human error in most accidents.

Xtreme Parasail Captain David Knight told Hawaii News Now, "I've done this all over the world. Florida, Caribbean, all down the East Coast, this is one of the safest places to do it."

He showed us safety equipment onboard such as a parachute wrangler and pole to prevent accidents from broken lines.

He also said operators need to exercise caution in windy conditions, explaining that "Gust window of 15 miles per hour. I wish everyone would follow the rules a little better. Hopefully it all gets enforced soon enough."

There have been two parasailing deaths in Hawaii since 2009.

The other happened when a Sea Breeze employee fell while trying to zipline down the parasail tow line.

In that case, the captain's license was suspended for one year.

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