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Parasailing Dangers

     It  looks fun and carefree. The boat is pulling the person with a parachute. Hundreds of feet high in the air, there sits someone laughing and giggling as they dangle their feet from a harness.  Almost always, it’s a tourist who decided to really let go during vacation. There’s probably not much thought about safety because everybody does it, so it must be safe.

     The New York Times recently reported on the dangers of parasailing.  In Florida, there are upwards of 120 parasailing companies operating during peak season. Not surprisingly, more people strap into harnesses over those Florida seas, than anywhere else. Unknown to most is that there is almost no regulation across the entire United States.

      Vacation causes people to relax. So, people don’t think about safety or whether the harnesses and equipment have been inspected. In Florida, the only requirement for parasailing is that the boat must be seaworthy and the captain must have a valid boating license.

     The information on parasailing injuries and deaths are a bit sketchy. Worldwide, it is estimated that there have been 72 parasailing deaths since 1982; and there have been 4 deaths in Florida in the last two years.

     Since this blog is written from a Virginia law slant, here is the good news; Only two states have some form of parasailing laws and regulations: Virginia and New Jersey.

     Virginia Code Section 29.1-735.3 grants authority to the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries to regulate parasail operators. Some of the regulations include requirements for the harness size, how secure the parasail canopy will be and the time that a boat can go out before as it relates to sunrise and sunset.  The law also addresses how close the boat can be to the shoreline. Maybe that’s why we don’t see a lot of parasailing operators on the Virginia coast.

     It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of parasailing. Maybe you’re in the Bahamas; it’s perfect weather and it sure looks fun. Maybe you’ll stop and consider the circumstances. You’ll look at that boat before jumping into the harness and think how just about anyone can stick a boat in the water and start charging to put you in that harness and send you up in that parachute. Maybe it would just be safer and more relaxing to just take a drive to Washington D.C.

     For pic o’ day, I thought I would post a picture that seems festive and “vacation-like”:

Only Insurance Defense Jokes

Normally, I’m not one to really receive or pass on lawyer jokes. The legal profession already has its hands full, trying to improve its image.

Not long ago, I saw a Rasmussen poll that showed Judges being viewed less favorable than favorable. It used to be that old timers in law would blame the public dislike of lawyers on lawyer advertising. It wasn’t an argument for me, to take part in or try to defend advertising. Not sure how those old timers would explain the Judicial approval ratings.

For this blog, I am attaching something that my Mom sent. I am changing the “bad guy” in the story to “insurance defense lawyer”. Just hope that it doesn’t cause a bunch of people to start a movement of “Occupy Lawyer Yard” . Here it is with criticism welcomed! You can always tell me “No more jokes!”

Driving through town in his BMW, a successful insurance defense lawyer spotted two men on the side of the road, eating grass out of somebody’s yard. Moved by how desperate the men had become, he pulled over to have a word with them,

“Hey fellas, what is going on? Why are you eating grass?” asked the  insurance defense lawyer.

“We’re down on our luck, have no jobs and are very poor!”, they both responded.

“Well then, come with me” the  insurance defense lawyer insisted. “I’ll do what I can to help; after all – it’s clear you’re desperate and you’re clearly doing what you can to get by.”

After a fifteen minute drive, the two poor men arrived at a beautiful estate on five acres of land, right on the 18th hole of a prestigious golf course. They became excited at the chance to finally get some work.

“Sir, we can’t thank you enough! Thank you so much for this opportunity. We won’t let you down!” they exclaimed with joy!

“Ah, it’s no problem. I’m just happy to help.” replied the insurance defense lawyer, “You can eat all the grass you want, it’s got to be at least a foot tall by now!”

And now…. pic o’ day. A reminder to stay focused.

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