What is dangerous parachute flight over the sea: a real case in Thailand

HLet's start, perhaps, with a short excerpt from one advertising brochure about parachuting over the sea coast. This promotional excerpt is not tied to any particular place or even country. We can read or hear something similar in many resort places on the planet.

“If you like a small but exciting adventure on a beach holiday, then parasailing over the sea will be the right choice for you. Fly alone or in pairs. The parachute, tightly connected to the boat, will lift you majestically into the air over the beautiful sea waters. Enjoy the flight with a wonderful view of the sea coast.”

What is a parachute flight called?

Since the 1970s of the last century, parasailing behind a boat has become commonly known as parasailing.

In recent years, this entertainment has become more and more popular among other beach water sports. You can fly alone or as a couple and enjoy the wonderful moment together.

Parasailing is a general term for controlled flight with a parachute that is towed by a boat or boat.

More and more vacationers go on an unforgettable flight over the sea. People of almost all ages enjoy such mini adventures, getting positive emotions, a boost of energy and a dose of adrenaline.

Indeed, everything looks just great. The water moves smoothly under your feet, the boat on a strong cable tows you along the coast. Parasailing actually combines thrills with deep relaxation that turns into an immersive experience.

As a rule, a special service is offered, which, according to the organizers, includes the highest safety standards.

In fact, it’s better to think a hundred times and weigh the pros and cons before giving a lot of money, and possibly health, for this “fabulous” entertainment.

Many vacationers in Thailand (we will talk about the case in Thailand), and in other beach regions of the planet, have repeatedly received offers to ride a parachute right on the beach. Of course, everywhere this "attraction" for tourists has its own characteristics, but it has the same principle.

"Wonderful" flight over water on a parachute at Karon Beach in Thailand

Someone can start arguing and will be right in his own way, but this is not an unfounded statement, but the realities of life. The incident, which will be described below, occurred on one of the trips to my favorite Phuket island in Thailand. To clarify, it was on Karon Beach, just opposite the hotel Phuket Island View.

Karon beach
Panoramic view of Karon beach on Phuket island in Thailand

It was a typical sunny and cloudy afternoon. Ordinary sellers of corn, ice cream, glasses, swimwear, various tourist knick-knacks wandered lazily past.

Of course, there was also a parasailing team that offered vacationers an unforgettable parachute flight with an experienced Thai instructor. There were clouds, but the sun was shining and there was no rain. In a word, everything is as always.

Silently, on the usual "parachute, parasailing", slowly sipping the cold "Chang", I watched as a couple of young Japanese women got into the parachute net lured Karon in Phuket.

Karon coast
Water sports at Karon Beach include parasailing

Well, the usual thing, and now one of them was already in the air in a couple of minutes. As always, a “Thai pilot” hung behind her, who controlled the parachute.

The flight itself is short. 5-7 minutes passed and the boat, for which the parachute cable was tied, began to approach the shore, and the "Japanese pilot" with her "pilot" by inertia, smoothly describing the arc, moved to the landing site. The landing site on Karon is the edge of the coast.

Everything would be fine, but then the unexpected happened. The fact is that on Karon behind the sandy line of the beach in places trees grow, somewhat similar to pines. They are generally typical of the tropics. The same trees grow in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica and Vietnam. They are tall, just like old pines.

In a word, either the wind blew or our pilot lost control, but the parachute went beyond the line of the sandy beach and caught on the top of one of the pines. At the same time, he instantly collapsed and went down from a height like a stone, and with him the “pilots”. There was a loud bang, even two - it was the impact of bodies on the sand.

There is also a positive side to this story. "Pilots" in the fall flew over a concrete path that leads from the road to the beach. Nothing else was positive. A few minutes later the Thai pilot woke up. He crawled a little on all fours, stood up with difficulty and staggered towards the boat.

His comrades at that time quickly collected a parachute, some equipment, loaded it all together with the pilot into one of the boats and disappeared into the distant blue of the sea. I don't think they were certified to fly with a parachute. After all, they did not even try to help the Japanese woman, who had been lying on the sand all this time without showing signs of life! Although ordinary vacationers immediately took possible measures in that situation.

incident on Karon
Scene of the incident at Karon Beach, Thailand

A coconut and water vendor called an ambulance, and a vacationer brought a police officer from the tourist police station, which is located across the road almost opposite the scene.

The policeman examined the victim, exchanged a few phrases with local sellers and was like that. By that time, the Japanese woman regained consciousness, but did not get up.

crowd after the fall
The policeman leaves the scene

Ten minutes later, an ambulance arrived. They examined the girl and, carefully moving her on a stretcher, took her to the ambulance.

first aid
An ambulance crew examines a Japanese woman injured in a fall

Naturally, I can’t say what happened to her next, but I doubt that the Japanese woman had insurance against accidents related to injuries sustained while practicing active sports. Although, perhaps, she had such insurance. After all, the Japanese are a disciplined nation.

That's basically the whole story. Now decide for yourself whether the pleasure of flying is worth the possible negative consequences for your health and possibly life. Do you always include active sports in your insurance?

Yes, one more thing. For three whole days there were no skydivers on the beach, but on the fourth day I heard the familiar “Mr, Mr, parachute, parasailing” ...

Parachute video

For completeness and clarity of the picture of what happened, I propose to watch a short video that shows the process of flight and landing. This video is not a description of the case, but it makes it possible to visually see and understand the situation.

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