State legislators on Monday rolled out a proposal for tough parasailing safety standards, several weeks after a Connecticut woman fell to her death in a parasailing accident off Pompano Beach, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
The proposal has been named the White-Miskell bill in honor of Kathleen Miskell, 28 – who fell between 150 and 200 feet into the water after her harness broke on Aug. 15 – and Amber May White, 15, who was killed in another accident in Pompano Beach in August 2007.
Supporters want to require equipment inspections, bar businesses from towing parasailers too close to shore – and work to prevent more people from getting killed, the Sun Sentinel reported.
"Whenever we have a carnival come to town, they're inspected," said state Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, D-Pompano Beach, who appeared at a news conference at City Hall with state Senator Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, and Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher. "We do not want to have any tragedies on our ocean again."
Miskell’s family supported the bill in a statement on Monday, and thanked the Pompano Beach legislative delegation for honoring Kathleen Miskell and White.
“Kathleen spent her all-too-short life helping others. She would be happy to know that this senseless tragedy may help other families avoid the pain and heartache that we and too many other families are going through,” the family said.
Previous bills introduced in the Legislature have not advanced past the committee stage, the Sun Sentinel reported.
White’s older sister, Crystal, survived their 2007 crash. Their mother, Shannon Kraus, told the paper that she was “a little choked up” after hearing about the latest proposal.
"Honestly, I just want to see something passed. I don't want this to happen to anyone again. This has been a really hard five years,” she said. “The whole situation was a tragedy, but she's not dying in vain if there's something gained from the complete hell we've been going through.”