July 3rd, 2013
10:31 AM ET

Parasailing Accident Raises Questions About Industry

Two teenage girls are in critical condition this morning after a terrifying parasailing accident in Florida. The girls were left to the mercy of a gathering storm when a tow line snapped.

Cell phone video shows the girls slam into the side of a building in Panama City Beach, Florida. "And hit the top of another building before they come crashing down on the other side," CNN's Alina Machado reports. "Stunned witnesses called for help."

While shocking, such accidents are not entirely uncommon in this largely unregulated industry.

“In the past 15 years, at least 33 people have been hurt in parasailing incidents in Florida,”  Machado says. “Six others have died.”

Mark McCulloh is the Founder of the Parasail Safety Council, which tries to prevent accidents like this.

McCulloh weighs in on the incident with “New Day” co-anchor Kate Bolduan.

An expert witness in parasail fatalities, McCulloh says “95% of the accidents are accidents that result in fatalities are in line separations and high winds in bad weather so this is unusual that they were close to shore.”

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