Two teens were held captive in a parasail on Panama City Beach on Monday afternoon. The parasail line snapped from its boat, smashed into a condominium and then plummeted into a parking lot.
"It was hard to watch. Something you don't ever forget," said witness Doug Mador.
The two teens are in critical condition. The Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife are investigating the accident, which was partially caught on video by onlookers on the beach.
Some say the stormy sky seen in the background of the video is a sure sign of what went wrong.
"Yesterday, we were closed. I can't imagine the weather in Panama City Beach would have been much different from here," said Mike Stockwell of Madeira Beach's Gators Parasail & Watersports.
Stockwell says weather conditions should be monitored by crews on the water and on dry land. Still, he urges customers to always go with your gut.
"Take a look at the conditions you're going out in and the operation that you're parasailing with," Stockwell said.
Monday's accident is far from the first on Florida's shorelines. A woman was killed on Clearwater Beach in 2010 after gusty winds snapped her parasailing line and dragged her across the beach and into a pole.
Regulations for the parasailing industry are far and few between, leaving business owners with the task of deciding between caution and cash.
"There's going to be greed in every industry. Every industry is going to have that, where they're probably going out in conditions they shouldn't go out in," Stockwell said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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