Proceedings Fall 2014
The Coast Guard Ofce of Investigations and Analysis initiated
a study of personnel casualties occurring on parasailing vessels
from 2002 to 2009.
In their analysis, they grouped personnel casualties stemming
from parasailing activities into three categories: towline fail-
ures, winch failures, and other failures. After examining the data,
analysts discovered 27 marine casualty investigations (events)
involving 44 injuries and one death.
2002–2009 Parasailing Casualties Study Results
Parasail design elements.
There were 19 personnel injuries associated with the towline
The investigations only indicated that the lines parted and for
the most part, did not discuss the type, rating, length, condition
of the line in use, the nature of the failure, or conditions that may
have contributed to the failure, as in abrasion, age, sun-weath-
ering, and such. These investigations inconsistently recorded
the height of the canopy and passengers above ground level.
However, there did not appear to be any correlation between
the reported height of the fall and the extent of the injuries
The uninspected passenger vessel Hi Flyer on August 18, 2007,
near Miami, Fla., was associated with the event that caused an
initial injury to two persons and eventual death of one of them,
when the towline parted and the parasail passengers struck a
building. The towline parted due to wind gusts.
by number of
Single injury events (10) 10
Two person injury
Two person injury and
eventual death (1)
Total injured by towline failures 19
Towline failures attributed to weather,
winds or seas (gusts, passing weather front
movements, and rolling or choppy seas).
Total Injured by Towline Failures 19