Friends of two teenagers badly hurt in a Florida parasailing accident gathered in their northeastern Indiana hometown to pray for their recovery.
Organizers say groups of 20 or more joined in prayer services held Tuesday afternoon and evening at a Huntington church for 17-year-olds Sidney Good of Roanoake and Alexis Fairchild of Huntington.
The girls have been hospitalized in critical condition after strong winds caught the detached parasail in Panama City Beach on Monday and they crashed in to a building and parked vehicle.
Both girls sustained head trauma and multiple lacerations.
"We are fortunately seeing some positive signs from both Sidney and Alexis," the Good and Fairchild families said in a statement Wednesday. "Sidney has been responsive to caregivers and has been able to use small movements to communicate including a thumbs up for her parents. Alexis had surgery today on her spine and has also been responsive including a small wave at her parents when she returned from surgery."
The Bay County Sheriff's Office reports that a parasail had been attached to a boat Monday afternoon when the line broke. One victim dropped into the Gulf of Mexico and was rescued. The News Herald reports that two others continued on until the parasail crashed into a nearby parking lot.
Winds from a storm reportedly kept the parasail aloft and out of the grasps of the vessel attempting to recover them, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement.
"We knew they were going to hit, but there was nothing we could do about it," Amy Barron, of Alabama, told the paper.
Aquatic Adventures, the company that owned the boat, told the paper it would have no comment.
Life Church youth pastor Hillary Vought says the prayer groups began late Monday after the girls' classmates learned about the accident