Twenty seven year old Alejandra White had everything going for her- great family, good friends and a fun job. She didn't expect to spend her last few moments on earth, terrified, as her parasailing adventure turned into a nightmare.
The Sunday before Labor Day, White and her boyfriend had been parasailing together in the skies above Clearwater Beach, Florida. At some point, the line to the boat snapped, throwing the parasail out of control. Her boyfriend was able to get free of his harness, and jump into the water. White, however, remained trapped in the parasail which eventually wrapped around her, and crashed to the ground. White was then dragged several feet on the beach, hitting several objects along the way, including a volleyball pole. She sustained serious injuries, and she died six days later.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the tragedy, and is looking at several boating violations. Under greater scrutiny is the parasailing industry, a hugely lucrative business in Florida, but largely unregulated. Thousands of people each year place their lives and safety in danger when they sign up for parasailing adventures. Most are unaware that there are no regulations governing this industry, and that even a professional association of parasail businesses, called the Professional Association of Parasail Operators, only makes voluntary safety suggestions.
For now, investigators believe that high winds on the day of the accident were responsible for this deadly parasailing accident. As White and her boyfriend were up in the air, a strong thunderstorm came up. It appears that they should not have been taken out in those weather conditions. In fact, some of the other parasail operators on the beach suspended operations because of the looming storms.
Jason Schultz is an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer, whose practice is dedicated to representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death, across Georgia and Florida.