An Indiana teenager, one of two who survived a July 2013 parasailing accident in Panama City Beach, Florida, said that in the days after the accident she could feel her body “preparing itself to die.” The line connecting the parasail to the boat broke, sending the parasail crashing into buildings, power lines, and parked cars.
Sidney Good and Alexis Fairchild were on an outing run by Aquatic Adventures. They were tethered together to a parasail, when the rope snapped, leaving the parasail swinging wildly before it crashed into objects on shore, the New York Daily News reports. Good suffered brain trauma and cracked her spine, and Alexis had back injuries. Good still suffers long-term health issues including double vision and a loss of peripheral vision, according to ABC News.
Sidney’s father, Eric Good, told ABC News that he doesn’t know if his daughter’s injuries came when the parasail collided with the building or when she and Alexis fell onto a parked car. The impact was strong enough to shatter the car’s windshield and dent its roof. Before she blacked out, Sidney Good remembers seeing people on the balcony the parasail hit “kinda grabbing for me.” Witnesses say the girls went limp and stopped screaming after crashing into the building.
At the time of the accident, Aquatic Adventures released a statement saying it “adhere(s) to best practices to minimize the risks associated with watersport activities,” but “sudden weather conditions can and do occur.” The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said strong winds from a developing storm snapped the rope connecting the parasail to the boat. An attorney suggested that Aquatic Adventures should not have taken the teens on the water in such weather, according to the Daily News. In 2009, another pair of teenagers was flung into the ocean when the rope to their parasail snapped, and the company reached a $650,000 settlement in a 2010 jet ski accident. Fairchild’s family is suing Aquatic Adventures.