Injured teens recovering; parasailing regulation bill returning

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM.

PANAMA CITY — Two Indiana teens hurt in a parasailing mishap last week are inching closer to recovery while lawmakers pledge to reintroduce a bill that would rein in the largely unregulated parasailing industry.

State Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, who introduced a bill that would have placed restrictions on parasailing operations during the most recent legislative session, said in a post on her website she intended to refile the bill, for which she said she’s finding bipartisan support.

On Twitter, Sachs called the incident that seriously injured Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good, two 17-year-old tourists from Indiana, “tragic” and “preventable.”

“Since ’98 there’s been 33 parasailing accidents in Florida alone,” Sachs tweeted Friday. “This is ridiculous; we can do better to protect our tourists (and) Floridians.”

Sachs’ bill would have prohibited operators from running parasailing outings in certain times, locations and under certain weather conditions, including wind speeds greater than 20 miles per hour. It also would have required operators to carry liability insurance.

Good had been taken off a ventilator, and a surgery Monday morning to repair injuries to her neck went well, according to a statement from the Good and Fairchild families issued late Monday. She is talking with family and caregivers and her pupils are showing response, which is an indication the swelling in her brain is subsiding.

Fairchild has been moved from the intensive care unit and is undergoing rehab sessions twice a day to help her resume walking and normal movements.

Fairchild and Good slammed into a condo tower July 1 after line from their parasail harness to the boat towing them detached in front of dozens of beachgoers. The incident was partially captured on video and their plight has received wide attention from the national media.

A benefit fund to help with their medical expenses has been created at PNC Bank. Deposits can be made at any branch or by clicking here.



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