SOAR­ING SAFELY

RSWLiving - - Making Waves - —Beth Lu­berecki

Cap­tain Neil New­ton first started work­ing for Par­adise Parasail when he was 18 years old. About four years ago, he be­came the owner of the Fort My­ers Beach– based com­pany, which also has a sum­mer­time out­post at Mis­souri’s Lake of the Ozarks. “I’m pas­sion­ate about this in­dus­try,” he says. “It’s some­thing I plan on do­ing for many years to come.”

That love of para­sail­ing led New­ton to get in­volved with ef­forts to in­crease safety stan­dards for the ac­tiv­ity at both the state and na­tional lev­els. He worked with en­ti­ties like the U.S. Coast Guard and Wa­ter Sports In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion to help de­velop na­tional stan­dards, which were then used by the state of Florida to craft a new law gov­ern­ing com­mer­cial para­sail­ing that went into ef­fect last Oc­to­ber.

“I wanted to be able to have a say and make sure we did ev­ery­thing we could to make this in­dus­try safe,” he says. “We as an in­dus­try had that abil­ity to be heard, and it’s pretty cool to be able to have our in­put in the law. It was a group ef­fort to get to where we’re at to­day.” 239-463-7272, par­adis­ep­a­ra­sail.com

NEIL NEW­TON

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