JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A friend of Amber May White, a 15-year-old girl who died while parasailing in South Florida five years ago, wants tougher laws for the parasailing industry.
"From what I know of and from what I understand, there are no regulations here in the State of Florida, and that's what the Amber May law is pushing for," said Travis Bennett, Amber's friend from high school.
White was killed in 2007 when she and her sister were parasailing in Pompano Beach. Investigators said the rope broke away from the boat, sending them crashing into the roof of a nearby hotel. White died from her injuries.
"She always came to class with a smile on her face. Super giggly, always happy, and I don't remember a moment that wasn't happy with Amber," said Bennett.
Bennett wants the state to crack down on parasailing companies.
"The regulations involve, you know, simply watching the weather going out. It wouldn't allow them to operate in inclement weather," said Bennett. "They'd have to have a certain amount of liability insurance and just, overall, would protect the consumer."
Bennett said this past week's parasailing accident in South Florida, where the harness holding a 28-year-old woman snapped, sending her 150 feet, makes change that much more urgent.
"Another person has died. Another person has lost their life and another family has to go through what Amber May's family has to go through," said Bennett. "And, it's simply unacceptable that the government isn't supporting them."
A petition in support of regulation for parasailing companies is available to sign on RememberAmber.com.
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