Parasailing declared risky and other trending Florida stories

July 1, 2014 

Parasailing Accidents

In this Sept. 24, 2012 photo, two people parasail over Miami Beach, Fla. Soaring high above the ocean off South Beach, tethered only by a rope to a boat hundreds of feet below, riding in a parasail is at once exhilarating and oddly peaceful, even quiet. For millions of people, that's the takeaway from a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But every year there are accidents, some of them fatal. The Parasail Safety Council, which tracks injuries and deaths from the activity nationwide, reports more than 70 people have been killed and at least 1,600 injured between 1982 and 2012, out of an estimated 150 million parasail rides during those 30 years. Despite the inherent risk, few federal or state safety regulations exist for parasailing. In Florida, which has by far the largest number of parasail operators at about 120, repeated efforts to enact new rules following fatal accidents have landed with a thud. Florida is seen by safety proponents as a national bellwether because of parasailing's popularity in the state. (AP Photo/Tony Winton)

TONY WINTON — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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FIRST LADY TOUTS INITIATIVES FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS Michelle Obama believes school counselors play a vital role in the American education system. The first lady wants to do her part to help them have an even bigger impact, and is promoting new initiatives she hopes will assist them. President Barack Obama has set a goal for the U.S. to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Speaking at the American School Counselor Association convention Tuesday in Orlando, the first lady said the goal is attainable, but only with help.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT STEPS CLOSER TO FLORIDA LAW LICENSE A Florida man seeking to practice law even though he was brought illegally to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents as a young boy is a step closer to becoming an attorney. Jose Godinez-Samperio confirmed Tuesday the Florida Board of Bar Examiners recommended his admission to the state Supreme Court, which makes the final decision.

PARASAILING DECLARED RISKY The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday declared parasailing to be risky and urged the U.S. Coast Guard to require that operators be licensed. The NTSB said people seeking to enjoy the “thrill, adventure and panoramic views of parasailing risk becoming accident victims.” The NTSB said human error is the main cause of parasailing accidents due to poor judgment, lack of sufficient experience and improper training.

RIGHTS GROUPS CALL FOR PROBE INTO SHOWER DEATH Civil rights groups are calling for a federal investigation into the death of a mentally ill Florida prisoner left in shower so hot his skin separated from his body. The American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and other groups sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice on June 25.

HIGH NUMBERS OF DEAD FISH WAS UP IN CENTRAL FLORIDA Officials are trying to find out what caused a number of dead fish to wash up along a portion of Ormond Beach. Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Tammy Marris says the fish were found Monday spread over section of a couple of miles. Marris says they took pictures and sent them to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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