This is the second time in a year that a tourist has died in a parasail accident off Florida’s west coast. The safety of Florida’s parasailing brings up numerous issues for personal injury attorneys. Any time someone is injured on the water there are perils awaiting the unsuspecting personal injury attorney. There are occasions where maritime law will control to shorten the statute of limitations, so beware!
While parasailing may seem safe (after all that does look like a sturdy rope), they just cant seem to stop injuring people. They claim they inspect their gear. They claim they are complying with all the regulations, but every couple years, someone is hurt or killed off our Florida coasts.
Importantly, a parasailing boat can incorporate each individual boat to limit the personal injury liability for negligence of the captain, crew, or maintenance to that boat and that particular insurance policy.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, David Richard Sieradzki, 31, of South Carolina died about a mile off Longboat Key on Monday after the boat he was parasailing from lost speed and the parasail floated down into the water. Sieradzki fell from as high as 800 feet at an unknown speed, according to the Coast Guard.
Wildlife commission spokesman Gary Morse said, Sieradzki was in the air when the boat called “Almost Heaven” experienced a problem that stopped the propellers from spinning, “What we do know is that he landed in the water just fine, but something happened to cause him to die once he was in the water,” Morse said. “He did not come down hard.”
Morse said Sieradzki was wearing a life jacket and waving his hands in the water. Crew members pulled Sieradzki back to the boat by hand. According to the Coast Guard, Sieradzki was likely unconscious by the time he actually got back to the boat, The crew performed CPR on him until the Coast Guard arrived about 5:48 p.m. The Coast Guard then continued CPR where he was taken to Coquina boat ramp on Anna Maria Island. Manatee County emergency workers declared him dead about 5:55 p.m. Investigations are ongoing.
The first parasailing accident took place along Clearwater Beach where Alejandra White, a 27-year-old tourist from Georgia, was killed in September. She also was killed parasailing along Clearwater Beach due to the rope snapping. White’s fiance’, Shaun Ladd, also was injured. This investigation is also still ongoing.
A bill was proposed by Legislators this year, named after White, that would have established state oversight of the commercial parasailing industry but the bill failed. Now we have another accident on our hands and yet another fatality.
There were eight people, including two crew members, aboard the 28-foot commercial parasailing vessel. The vessel belongs to Fun & Sun Parasail with a John Crews as captain. “Almost Heaven” is an uninspected vessel, which means that the Coast Guard does not check it. Parasailing apparently is not regulated.
The boats passengers included Stephanie, 32, who is Sieradzki’s wife, and family, said father-in-law Bud Hazel, 57, who lives in South Carolina. Hazel said his daughter and Sieradzki were in Florida with family on vacation. “They wanted to parasail together, but for some reason the boat wouldn’t pull them both, he said. So Stephanie went first and Sieradzki went next. That’s when the boat quit.”
Hazel said Sieradzki was a lot of fun and always wonderful to his daughter.
“He was the perfect son-in-law,” he said.
The hearts of those of us at Herman & Wells, P.A. go out to your families.