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Parasailing accident: Company, parents speak out

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   July 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM  |  Updated July 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM   |   Comments

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July 5 (UPI) -- The owner of a Florida parasailing company involved in an incident in which two teenage girls nearly lost their lives has reached out to their families as an investigation into the incident begins.

Sidney Good and Alexis Fairchild, both 17-year-old girls from Indiana, were taken to a hospital in Panama City Beach in critical condition Monday after the line detached on their parasail, which carried them to shore, where they struck the balcony of a high-rise condominium. They were then blown into a power line and struck a car in the parking lot of the condo building before landing on the pavement.

The owner of Aquatic Adventures, Jeff Jones, indicated the weather likely played into the accident.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the injured girls and we all pray for their speedy recovery,” Jones said. “While we adhere to best practices to minimize the risks associated with watersport activities, sudden weather conditions can and do occur.”

The Coast Guard office in Mobile, Ala., and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have both launched investigations to identify what caused the accident and how similar incidents can be prevented in the future.

Lt. John Authement, a supervisor from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Panama City said they would investigate whether misconduct or negligence played a role in the incident.

The families of the two teen girls said both girls, who suffered head, neck and spinal injuries, were communicating with small gestures and improving. Both are expected to recover.

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