Coast Guard releases preliminary report on parasailing accident

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard released preliminary findings of their investigation into the parasailing accident that injured two Indiana teens in Florida.

The report said severe weather and the boat's proximity to the shore were substantial factors in the July 1 accident.

The Coast Guard’s preliminary investigation found the Why Knot boat from which Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good launched was about 300 yards from shore when the rope of the parasail the girls were riding broke, Fort Wayne ABC affiliate WPTA reported.

Fairchild and Good crashed into a Panama City Beach, Fla. condominium, fell through power lines and landed on top of cars in the condominium parking lot.

“While there are no regulations that prescribe specific weather parameters for parasail operations,” the Coast Guard report said, “the Coast Guard is urging mariners to carefully monitor prevailing and predicted weather conditions and tailor operations accordingly.”

The Coast Guard said the parasailing accident is an ongoing investigation conducted jointly with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Results of tests on the parasailing equipment were still being analyzed, WPTA said.

The National Transportation Safety Board was also assisting in the investigation, the Coast Guard said.

In the weeks since the crash, both teens were released from a Florida hospital and returned to Indiana to continue their recovery.

Good underwent successful facial surgery Thursday. Fairchild had started physical therapy at a rehabilitation hospital in Indianapolis.

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