Two teenage girls were injured while parasailing off of Panama City Beach, Fla., on July 1 during stormy conditions. According to an incident report from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, witnesses saw the parasail carrying two girls become detached from a boat amid strong winds and collide with the Commodore condo building on Thomas Drive. Winds then carried the riders over the top of the condo building and into power lines before they crashed down onto several cars in the Commodore parking lot.
Witnesses said that sparks flew when the parasail hit the power lines and that both riders were breathing but only one was conscious after landing in the parking lot. An SUV in the parking lot had its roof caved in and windshield smashed from the impact of the landing. A witness who was on the boat waiting his turn to go up says that strong winds caught the parasail and begin pulling the boat. The boat’s captain dropped anchor and was unable to reel the parasail back in. The line snapped, sending the parasail into the condo building. Video cameras caught this tragic episode as it was unfolding. It was very hard to watch the two girls hitting the condo and then hitting a power line and finally a parked car.
The two teenage victims, who are from Roanoke, Ind., were transported to Bay Medical Center. Each girl was in critical condition when taken to a local hospital. Their injuries, which included head, neck and back injuries, were considered to be very serious. Photos from the scene show the railing on the 13th-story balcony of the Commodore was damaged from the impact of the crash. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is the primary agency investigating the incident. As a matter of interest, the Florida Senate considered a bill increasing government oversight of parasailing activity earlier this year, but the bill died in committee.
Source: Panama City News Herald
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