Florida Company Makes Statement Following Parasailing Tragedy

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 4, 2013 Updated Jul 5, 2013 at 9:12 AM EDT

HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (www.incnow.tv)--- The Florida boating company that was taking two Huntington County teens on a parasailing ride before trouble erupted has now released a statement.

Research shows the overall safety record for parasailing does not trigger overwhelming confidence.

Every time you watch the video, you feel helpless as an untethered parasail rams into a condo building, before crashing into a parking lot below.

Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good, 17-year olds from Roanoke Indiana, who were vacationing in Florida, suffered head and internal injuries and have been in and out of surgery at a Panama City hospital.

At last report, they remained in critical condition.

Now we gave a statement from Aquatic Adventures, the company that was operating the boat on the doomed excursion.

"The events of July 1, 2013 were tragic,” it reads.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the injured girls and we all pray for their speedy recovery."

"While we adhere to best practices to minimize the risks associated with watersport activities sudden weather conditions can and do occur."

The company goes on to say it won't be making any further comment.

Meanwhile, WJHG television in Panama City is reporting Aquatic Adventures has been sued in connection with a 2009 incident where a tow rope snapped, causing two teens to plunge into the water.

The events we've been reporting on this past week in Panama City are certainly chilling, but they're not unique.

In fact, statistics would show that parasailing is, and has always been, a high-risk form of entertainment.

August 2007, in Pompano Beach Florida, a storm blew in as Amber and Crystal White were parasailing.

The towline attached to their parasail snapped, and they were hurled onto the roof of a waterfront hotel.

Amber died and Crystal suffered permanent brain damage.

The Parasailing Safety Council reports, from parasailing rides the past 30 years, 429 people have been seriously hurt, and 73 have died.

Some Florida lawmakers have pushed for tougher safety standards for the industry, a campaign that figures to pick up steam after what just happened.




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