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Parasailing dangers: What every adventurous tourist needs to know

Are you planning a trip across the border to Washington this summer? Each year, tourists from all over flock to Puget Sound to experience the lush natural landscapes. But some of the more adventurous types like to kick up the thrills a notch or two with sports like parasailing.

Many tourists and locals love to go parasailing hundreds of feet over the Seattle cityscape. There is something incredible about the rush of going aloft and trailing behind a boat for a bird’s eye view of the sea and shore – and few get to experience it.

How safe is parasailing?

The good news is that, done safely with the proper equipment and experienced, well-trained operators, parasailing is safer than you might imagine. After all, more than 170 million parasailing operations have taken place. The fatality rate over the last 30 years hovers around 70, with around 1,800 incidents involving injury. Overall, those are good odds your parasailing experience will go off without a hitch.

What is the biggest danger when parasailing?

Equipment failure is the leading cause of parasailing deaths and injuries across the industry. However, much of the danger can be mitigated by close inspection of the equipment before each ride begins.

But weather-related disasters cannot be discounted either, as all it takes is a bolt of lightning or a strong gust of wind to cause catastrophic injuries or death for the flyer. Responsible parasailing companies will only go out when wind speeds don’t exceed 15 mph.

How high can you fly when parasailing?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets limits for parasailers. The maximum height is 500 feet above the surface of the earth. But with the use of an 800-foot towline, most parasailers wind up no more than 400 feet above the water.

What happens if you get hurt?

If you do get injured while parasailing, company or operator negligence may have been a factor. You may be entitled to financial compensation as a result of your accident and injuries. An attorney can help you understand more about your specific situation.