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Parasailing can be fraught with danger

Flying high above the waves tethered to a boat below can be an exhilarating and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon at the South Carolina beaches. But it can also prove deadly.

While it's estimated that as many as 5 million Americans each year go parasailing, it only takes a single mistake to cause tragic results. Before placing yourself in harm's way, take the time to learn how to ensure your own safety when parasailing.

Safety in the air begins on land

Once you are flying high over the beach, your life is essentially in the hands of the boat operator. That's why, before trussing up and going airborne, you need to take certain safety precautions, including:

  • Checking the weather forecast. Squalls can come up fast, so make sure you and the operator are apprised of any inclement weather conditions that could affect the outcome of your parasailing experience. If it's too windy, reschedule.
  • Inspect the equipment. Remember that you are only as safe as the rope and harness attached to you are. Make sure that the towline is free of knots that can weaken it and that the harness is in good repair.
  • Ensure a spotter is on board. The boat captain must have his or her eyes focused on the water ahead, which means that a spotter is needed to alert the operator of the boat to any problems the flyer may be having. This person must be employed by the parasailing company and not your parasailing partner.

Don't let an afternoon of supposed fun ruin the rest of your life. Being proactive about parasailing safety is vital to your continued health and well-being.

Parasailing accidents can cause paralysis from spinal cord injuries and cognitive problems from traumatic brain injuries. The recovery and rehabilitation periods for both types of injuries can be protracted — even life-long, in some instances. This type of care is costly and can easily top that offered by most health insurance policies. Should you get injured while parasailing, you may need to file a claim for damages in order to recoup any financial losses and be able to afford high-quality care.

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