An act relating to commercial parasailing; creating s.
327.375, F.S.; defining the term "commercial parasailing";
requiring each vessel engaged in commercial parasailing to
obtain an annual license; requiring each owner to carry
liability insurance; providing for minimum amounts of
insurance and maximum deductibles; providing requirements
for persons conducting commercial parasailing operations;
providing criminal penalties; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 327.375, Florida Statutes, is created to
327.375 Commercial parasailing.--
(1) As used in this section, the term "commercial
parasailing" means providing or offering to provide, for
consideration, any activity involving the towing of a person by a
(a) One or more persons are tethered to the towing vessel;
(b) The person or persons ascend above the water; and
(c) The person or persons remain suspended above the water
while the vessel is underway.
(2) A vessel engaged in commercial parasailing must obtain
an annual license from the commission at a cost of $50. All
license fees collected shall be paid into the Marine Resources
Conservation Trust Fund to recover the associated costs of
regulating commercial parasailing. The license must be available
for inspection when the vessel is engaged in commercial
(3) The owner of a vessel engaged in commercial parasailing
must obtain and carry a policy from an insurance carrier licensed
in this state, insuring against an accident, loss, injury,
property damage, or other casualty caused by or resulting from
the commercial parasailing activity. The insurance policy must
provide coverage for a minimum of $750,000 per person and $1.5
million per event. The deductible for the insurance policy may
not exceed $5,000 per event. Proof of insurance must be carried
on the vessel and be available for inspection when commercial
parasailing activities are conducted. A person conducting a
commercial parasailing activity shall give each rider the
insurance carrier's name and address and the insurance policy
(4) A person engaged in commercial parasailing must meet
the following requirements:
(a) A person may not use any vessel for commercial
parasailing unless it is designed and equipped for towing a
person while parasailing and is equipped with a launch platform
and powered winch to release and retrieve the towline.
(b) A person operating a vessel engaged in commercial
parasailing on the waters of this state must have a current and
valid license issued by the United States Coast Guard authorizing
that person to engage in carrying passengers for hire. The
license must be carried on the vessel and be available for
inspection while commercial parasailing activities are conducted.
(c) A person may not operate a vessel for commercial
parasailing unless an observer 18 years of age or older is
present in the vessel at all times to monitor the progress of any
airborne parasail rider and parachute. The observer shall be
attentive to the parasail rider or riders and may not have any
other duties while the rider or riders are in the water or
suspended above the water.
(d) A person may not operate any vessel engaged in
commercial parasailing unless:
1. All riders wear a United States Coast Guard approved
type I, type II, or type III personal flotation device that is in
serviceable condition and of the proper size;
2. All riders are connected to the towline and secured in a
seat harness attached to an ascending type of parachute;
3. The vessel is in full compliance with all requirements
of the United States Coast Guard governing crewing and equipment
carriage for passenger-carrying vessels as specified in the Code
of Federal Regulations or as otherwise specified by the United
States Coast Guard in the vessel's certificate of inspection; and
4. The vessel is equipped with a functional VHF marine
(e) Commercial parasailing is prohibited in the Atlantic
Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in waters less than 2,000 feet from
the shore. The restriction applies to the entire commercial
parasailing apparatus, including the vessel, towline, and rider.
(f) A person may not operate a vessel towing a commercial
parasailing rider so that the vessel, towline, or rider comes
1. An anchored vessel;
2. A person in the water;
3. The shore or seawall; or
4. A structure, bridge, power line, wharf, pier, dock,
buoy, platform, piling, channel marker, or other similar object.
(g) Commercial parasailing is prohibited:
1. On bodies of water less than 2,000 feet in width from
2. From one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before
sunrise and at all times during restricted visibility; and
3. When there are sustained winds of 20 knots or higher or
seas 5 feet or higher in the area of operation.
(j) Towlines used for commercial parasailing may not exceed
(k) Commercial parasail operators shall launch riders only
from and recover riders only to the vessel's launch platform.
(l) No more than two persons may be tethered to the towing
vessel and ascend above the water at any time.
(4) A person who violates this section commits a
misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2008.