MIAMI, FL— June 30, 2011 – On June 27, 2011, a South Carolina man became the second man to die in a parasailing accident in the Tampa Bay region in less than 10 months time, The Tampa Tribune reported. While Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) spokesman Gary Morse said the 31-year-old accident victim, who fell from the sky after the boat engine abruptly cut out, appeared to make a relatively soft landing on the water and even waved to signal that he was alive following the plunge, U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Peter Martin suggested that witness reports were inconsistent.
Reports indicated David Sieradzki and his wife Stephanie decided to travel from their home in South Carolina to Florida, so they could go parasailing. The company they chose to parasail with, Fun N Sun Parasail, is based on Anna Maria Island’s Bradenton Beach in Manatee County, Florida.
David and Stephanie Sieradzki boarded the Fun N Sun Parasail-operated parasail boat, named “Almost Heaven,” on the afternoon of June 27. There were a total of six boat passengers and two crew members aboard the vessel when its lower propeller allegedly experienced mechanical difficulties, causing the boat to lose speed and simultaneously causing Mr. Sieradzki, who was parasailing solo at the time, to fall approximately 800 feet from the sky.
Mrs. Sieradzki’s father, Bud Hazel apparently talked to reporters via telephone, relaying what his daughter said of the fatal accident. “He got up in the air, and then the boat engine died, and Dave came down… And they had to pull him into the boat. By the time he got into the boat, he was dead. They tried 20 to 30 minutes to revive him, but he was gone,” Hazel contended.
What caused the parasailer to die remains unknown, though autopsy results are pending and investigations into the Florida parasailing accident are ongoing.
The fatal accident spurred parasailing safety advocates such as ex-parasail operator and Parasail Safety Council chairman Mark McCulloh to stress the need for improvements in the parasailing industry. “After all these incidents, I can’t believe we haven’t gotten smarter as an industry… Their argument is, we don’t want the government snooping in our business.”
To protect future parasailers from potentially harmful (or sometimes even deadly) events on the water, towline and equipment inspections should be mandated, just as maximum wind speed and altitude constraints should be implemented, McCulloh told reporters.
According to the non-profit Parasail Safety Council, more than 380 parasailing accidents occurred between 1990 and September of 2009, claiming the lives of 22 accident victims throughout the nation.
About the Miami boat accident lawyers and injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
With four decades of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of boat and cruise line passengers who are hurt or assaulted onboard, the knowledgeable Florida boating accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz are dedicated to protecting the rights of these individuals and fighting to provide them with the compensation they deserve. Working closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Miami personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. strive to provide justice to individuals who suffer