Banner Tow Sign Hits Parasail
Two brothers riding in a parasail at Myrtle Beach, S.C., got a different flight than they expected when the banner being towed by an airplane cut through their parachute last weekend. Despite damage, everyone involved landed safely. The older brother, Riley, said he knew something wasn’t right when he noticed an airplane flying very close to them. “It looked really close to the parasail, and I was really scared it was going to hit the actual parachute,“ Riley Jorgenson said in an interview with local television station WMBF. No one was hurt, although the family said one of the boys is still shaken up. The younger brother said, “We were settled and I saw the plane coming at us. I got kind of worried and I panicked. After that, the ride continued. I was very scared on the way down, and then we landed on the boat. I would not recommend this ride to anyone.” His older brother said he was trying to comfort his brother and remain calm but knew the plane could have done a lot of damage. “I was really scared the plane would take the parachute and both of them would go down. The plane wouldn’t be flying right and the parachute wouldn’t be flying right, so we would go into the water.”
Statements were collected from the two boys, the driver of the boat, the manager of North Myrtle Beach Parasailing and the pilot of the banner tow aircraft. “The FAA limits all the folks [parasailers] in Myrtle Beach to 300 feet, and that’s because of the banner planes that fly the beach with us – they have to fly at 500 feet,” David Sage, owner of Ocean Watersport in Myrtle Beach, explained. He said that all parasailing companies in the area have a meeting with the banner tow plane pilots every spring to talk about safety. “We hash it all out and talk about what we could do better. We’ve never had any close calls and I’ve been going to those meetings for 16 or 17 years,” he said.