Is parasailing safe? What are the chances of dying?

Just about every beach destination from Hawaii to Florida offers parasailing, often from several different companies.

Parasailing mishaps have made the news several times in the last few years, but what are the odds of getting injured or dying? says that about 3-5 million people go parasailing every year. The only serious study was done by the United States Coast Guard, which has parasailing data from 1992-2001. 59 people died total, with 20 dying in Honolulu, and 16 in Tampa. Thus the probability of dying is 5.9/3million, which is a chance of 2 in a million of dying. More recent data from 2006 to 2012, 8 deaths and 36 injuries occured due to parasailing in the US, showing that parasailing is actually becoming more safe as the chance of dying is 8/(6*3 million), which is a chance of 4 in 10 million.

Things to avoid when parasailing

The biggest thing to avoid is wind! Simply don't go if a storm is approaching or if it is too windy. According to the USCG study, about 3 times as many people died doing tandem parasailing versus solo parasailing.

By Brian Roizen