It is a popular site along american beaches, vacationers flying below colorful parachutes being towed by a boat, it's called parasailing, but new and serious questions about the safety of the sport.... See More
It is a popular site along american beaches, vacationers flying below colorful parachutes being towed by a boat, it's called parasailing, but new and serious questions about the safety of the sport. He abc's ron claiborne now. Reporter: August 2007, 15-year-old amber white and her older sister crystal, 17, on vacation in pompano beach, florida, went parasailing. A storm blew in and moments later, the towline attached to the parasail snapped, and the two girls were hurled into the roof of a waterfront hotel. Amber was killed. Crystal suffered permanent brain damage. It was pretty obvious that they were use ing substandard equipment because the rope broke. I don't believe it was an accident. I believe it was negligence. Reporter: Then last month near the same beach, another horrifying accident, a woman plunged 150 feet to her death after her harness broke. Over the past 30 years, 429 people have been seriously injured parasailing in the u.S. 72 have died. Who is my brave soul? Who is going first? Reporter: We recently joined a group heading out to parasail off the coast of new jersey. See you later. Reporter: Some had heard about the latest tragedy in florida but were undeterred. Worried about the safety? No, you can't live in fear. Reporter: The operator of this boat says he inspects the equipment regularly. Legs straight out. Reporter: And has never had an accident, but who is watching? The equipment used in parasailing is not required to be inspected by any government agency. That's right. That includes the tow lines and the harnesses. No agency performs any kind of mandatory inspections of this safety equipment. It's been really left up to each individual operator to define safety as they see fit without repercussion. I'm angered. People keep dying, people keep getting injured. I mean, I lost my child, and my other child will never be the same again. Reporter: For most people, parasailing is a thrilling and unforgettable adventure. For this mother, it is a gamble not worth taking. Ron claiborne, abc news, belmar, new jersey.
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