Shore excursions are a fundamental part of cruise enjoyment, and many adventure-seekers will schedule extreme sports and other activities well in advance of their departure. One of the most popular water-based escapades is parasailing, an exciting ride that takes you as high as 300 feet in the air as you float on the breeze behind a power boat. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that an estimated 3 to 5 million people go parasailing every year, and the experience is exhilarating for the majority of them.
However, numerous parasailing accidents have been reported in recent years, causing serious injury and death. These tragedies are concerning to US officials, who cite a complete lack of federal regulation as posing a serious safety risk. It is even more disturbing to note that any proposed laws would not apply to many parasailing operators, since they offer their adventures through cruise companies at foreign ports-of-call. Such factors make parasailing injury claims complicated, so it is wise to retain an experienced Miami cruise ship accident lawyer for assistance with your case. You should also be aware of some additional statistics and causes of parasailing accidents on cruises.
Causes of Parasailing Accidents on Cruise Ship Excursions
In sum, there have been 70 parasailing deaths and more than 1,800 injuries reported worldwide from 1982 to 2012 – a rate of around one casualty for every 90,000 rides. The NTSB reports that the number one cause of parasailing accidents is towline failure, which is a result of numerous factors. Wear and tear, sunlight, and salt water weaken the towline, as does repeated knotting and unknotting: Bowline knots can reduce the strength of new rope by 70%.
Additional causes of parasailing accidents include:
- Harness and leg strap failure;
- Breaches and tears in the parachute;
- Defective tandem equipment;
- Mechanical malfunctions on the tow boat;
- Improperly trained crew;
- Winch failure; and,
- High winds and other foul weather conditions.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
Two important misconceptions often deter injured victims from pursuing those responsible for a parasailing accident. Many people assume that they cannot take legal action after signing the cruise operator’s waiver or release of liability; some people also believe that they cannot obtain damages related to a shore excursion with a company separate from the cruise line. However, there are many exceptions to these points that would still allow you to seek compensation.
One thing you DO need to keep in mind after being injured on a parasailing shore excursion is your legal deadline. In many cases, you have just six months from the date of the accident to file a claim, a much shorter time period than most US states’ statutes of limitations.
Contact a Miami Cruise Ship Accidents Attorney ASAP to Discuss Your Options
If you were hurt in a parasailing incident, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. Our team specifically focuses on cruise ship injuries and accidents, so we are well-prepared to protect your rights as a victim. Once we review your situation, we can advise you on your legal remedies.