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Gulf Coast parasailing can be a risky business
Under gray skies today, a lot of beach goers are talking about a para-sailing accident that may have been caused by bad weather.
Two teenagers were critically injured.
Home video caught the girls slamming into the side of a building.
Their families say that both girls suffered head trauma and other injuries, but they are responsive.
Channel 3's Amber Southard spoke to a local para-sailing captain who says more regulations need to be put in place.
He says, "Typically you'd see this boat out on the water pulling a parasail behind it, but on days like today this boat will stay docked."
On Monday, two teen-aged tourists Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good decided to go para-sailing in Panama City.
Then a storm came up. Video captures the girls slamming into the side of the Commodore Condos.
The terrifying flight ended when they hit this car in a parking lot nearby.
Patrick Bevan, who was at the scene says, "I do know it was weather related unfortunately, and I do feel sorry for the family and everyone involved in it."
Bevan has been a para-sailing captain for 15 years and says they never do trips in dangerous conditions.
Many people believe Senate Bill 64 could have prevented the incident, but the House version of the bill didn't pass. It would've required para-sailing to take place 18-hundred feet off-shore. And if winds climb to 20-knots or more the operation would have to shut down. "I think if you're out there in anything more than 20 miles per hour you shouldn't be out there."
Chris Blocker and his family are on vacation from California, although they've para-sailed before they are glad 'radical rides' doesn't para-sail in bad weather.
Blocker says, "It gives you a great view of everything and you have a light airy feel when you're up there."
Bevan says what happened to the teenagers is a tragedy. But he ads, "I think it's a very safe sport as far as the amount of people that fly every year versus the amount of injuries we do have."
In the past 15 years nearly 30 people have been injured in para-sail incidents in the state of Florida.