1. All riders should know how to swim and must wear a specially designed personal flotation device (PFD), lifejacket either in red, green, yellow, or orange colour, at all times. The lifejacket must be properly fitted and free from objects or attachments that may cause injury during a fall. Lifejackets should be constructed accordingly to protect the skier from blunt force or internal bodily damage in cases of collision or impact.
2. The Personal Flotation Devices selected must provide buoyancy, keeping the skier afloat on the seas surface. The use of inflatable lifejackets is strictly forbidden.
3. The motorboat used for towing must have to the appropriate engine power or horsepower so as to reach and maintain the necessary speeds required for towing all riders. Additionally, the motorboat whether leased or owned, must carry a portable metal fuel tank equipped with safety plugs and capable to store a minimum capacity of three (3) liters of fuel or have an auxiliary reserve tank with the appropriate reserve amounts.
4. The towrope is according to the manufacturers specifications and has the capability to remain afloat at sea.
5. The cleat or point on the boat and on the ring where line or rope attaches must be in excellent condition and capable to withstand the pull and momentum created by the boats speed, which cannot exceed 25 knots.
6. Tubes, Rings etc., are prohibited during adverse weather conditions and prior to sunrise and after sunset hours. On each occasion, based on the General Port Regulation No 20 (B 444 / 26-4-1999), the use of water towable tubes-rings as well as novel recreational activities, which have been or will be approved in accordance with the applicable provisions, is prohibited when the Beaufort wind measures more than five (5). Additionally, the use of water towable tubes-rings is prohibited when visibility is limited.The landlords of water recreational activities hold a portable digital anemometer where they take into consideration its indications.
7. The motorboat must be manned by a minimum of two (2) individuals, the driver and the observer where the driver must meet the general requirements found in Article 23, Par.Ii, General Marine Regulations No.20. More specifically drivers must hold:1. A valid Water Ski instructors license in any category of the General Secretariat of Sport (GGA) or a Degree in Physical Education (Dept.Pys.Ed.& Sports], with Water Ski major or a valid Water Ski Instructors license whose validity has been certified according to the General Port Regulation no.37 B' 101/2004 and the holder must has previously exercised the occupation of the lessor under the permission of the Port Authority or has provided to another lessor the services of high-boat marine recreational vehicle.2. A valid powerboat/marine license. In case the submitted request does not address the rental of towed water sports activities by a high-speed boat, this provision enters into force on 01-01-2020.
8. All Individuals who operate and/or own motorboats, powerboats, etc. that can be used for water sport activities requiring towing, e.g. tubes, rings, must also adhere to all respective safety rules and regulations.
9. All riders must be a minimum of sixteen (16) years of age and the riders are limited to and cannot exceed the number of grips available. For individuals under the minimum age of 16, parents/ legal guardians maintain responsibility, must provide parental consent, in addition to confirming the minors ability to swim properly.
10. The course or waterway followed by the motorboat operator towing a skier must be free and clear of any hazards or objects such as reefs, islets, anchored or other nearby boats for safety purposes and the prevention of accidents.
11. Each motorboat/speedboat is permitted to tow up to four (4) single-seated or two (2) two-seated tubes or rings.
12. Water sledding is prohibited in areas when the distance is:
a. Less than One hundred (100) meters from the outer edges of floating buoys (ref. Article 26), used to mark and set the boundaries for bathing beaches frequented by swimmers, etc. In areas where the coastline differs, such as small bays, coves, etc., (ref. Article 35), this distance can be reduced to less than a hundred (100) meters but no less than fifty (50) meters. Such applicable distances are clearly denoted on the marine licenses obtained.
b. Less than two hundred (200) meters from the customary location accessed and frequented by swimmers when at coastlines where floating buoys are not evident.
c. Less than two hundred (200) meters from any and all coastlines regardless of the presence of swimmers. In areas where the coastline differs, such as small bays, coves, etc., (ref. Article 35), this distance can be reduced to less than a hundred (100) meters. Such applicable distances are clearly denoted on the marine licenses obtained.
The speed should be no more than five (5) nodes in a less than two hundred (200) meters distance from the coastline in areas where no bathers exist in each case.
13. The takeoff and landing to and from the coastline by a speedboat towing a water sled is permitted only via the designated waterway (ref. Article 27) and when traveling at the lowest speed possible, no greater than 5 knots, and up to the point where the above rules and requirements are not triggered.
14. The rent of a high-speed boat is prohibited when there is an engine's damage or shutdown occurs.
15. Any high-speed boat that is used for the pull of leased water recreational activities, except for the parachute, in order to achieve the maximum level of safety and maintain the required amount of speed, it should have a minimum total length of five (5) meters, a minimum weight (boat-vessel-equipment) of six hundred (600) kilograms and its engine should have the following minimum level of horsepower according to its type:
outboard 100 HP or
inboard 140 HP or
in-outboard 160 HP.
High-speed boats of recreational water activities that are used before the entrance of force of this Regulation and do not meet the above conditions, can be used until 31-12-2021.
16. There must be two (2) persons on board when the high-speed boat pulls a sea-based recreational vehicle, unless otherwise specified.
17. A high-quality mirror should be placed ahead of the main position of the rudder on each high-speed boat which pulls a sea recreational activity. The precise location of the mirror is determined by the operator of the boat so that he has a full and continuous visual image of the towed aft the sea-going recreational means and of the person who is pulled.
- 1. They fall into the category of surface towable objects.Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Speedboat Laws from 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992):"towable object" means any object that does not have its own independent mechanical power but it is hauled by a high-speed vessel, and for the purposes of this Law it also refers to any person who is hauled by the vessel.2. Any person who is towed by the towable object must wear a life jacket or have a kind of buoyancy aid device.Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Cruiser Laws from 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992):"Lifejacket" means a type of personal clothing that can be easily worn and securely fastened to the body of an adult person or a child, has buoyancy of at least fifteen (15) kilograms, without having to be filled with air, carries a whistle , has a distinct color and finally it is capable of holding the head of a user who does not keep his senses out of the water.'buoyancy device' means a type of individual attachment which can be easily and securely worn and secured to the body of an adult person or a child, its buoyancy has to be equal to at least 10% of the weight of the person who wears it, without having to be filled with air and finally it has a distinct color.Section 5 (1) (Speedboat Operator Obligations) of the High Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2001; L. 56 (I) / 1992):The boat operator, must ensure that any person who is carried or towed by a vessel must wear a lifejacket or has or a buoyancy aid device.Provisions for the safe use and operation of the surface trailer objects.3. Regulation 27 (Surface Trailers) of the Speed Boats Regulations 1999 - CP 121/1999:27. (1) Α surface trailer is any trailer towed on the sea surface.(2) It is prohibited the use of towing rope and any machinery and articles that are used in order to tow a trailing surface object violating the manufacturer's specifications or, in the absence thereof the practice gained by the marine experience.(3) Rope fastening points which should not exceed 50 meters in length, or any other towing means to the high-speed boat and to the surface towable object, and all the mechanisms and materials must be in excellent condition and must be controlled by the owner and the boat’s operator too.(4) Whenever a towed surface object is used, the owner and the operator of the high-speed boat must ensure that a second person is on board the boat who supervises the towing procedure, given the fact that the boat's construction requires so.(5) The owner and the operator of a high-speed boat must never tow a towable object in a surface less than 200 meters from the nearest shore, and less than 100 meters away from the signaled area of the bathing area adjacent to the shore.(6) The owner and the boat operator must ensure that any person who is towed by a seawater towing boat, wears a life-jacket or has a buoyancy device and complies with the provisions of these Regulations.
Tow sports include a range of diverse activities that require different skill levels. Surprisingly, tow sports that require the least amount of skill, such as water tubing and banana boating can actually be more dangerous due to the lack of control riders have.
Water skiing, which includes wakeboarding, barefooting, trick skiing and other similar forms, requires responsible co-operation between several people: a boat driver, a spotter, and the skier or rider. Many elements are at play in safety: the skier, other nearby water users, safe handling of the tow boat and tow rope, and safety of other passengers who may be aboard the boat.
Why tow sports can be risky for children and youth?
Water skiing is an exciting pastime that families can enjoy together. Yet poor technique and lower body weight can contribute to a higher incidence of water skiing injuries to children. The most common accident scenarios include falls into water, collisions with other skiers or objects, being struck by a boat propeller, or becoming entangled in tow
lines. Common injuries include rectal, vaginal, and tympanic membrane (eardrum) injuries. Inflatables pose a particular risk precisely because no skill is required, which (a) leads caregivers to falsely think young children can ride safely despite inexperience, and (b) prevents the riders from being able to practice any self-protective
measures. Many injuries are caused by tow boat drivers misjudging distances, causing the inflatable and its riders to swing uncontrollably into boats, piers, and other objects. Multiple rider inflatables also pose a risk because the riders strike against each other when the inflatable jumps or turns, which can cause serious head injuries.
Recommendations for water ski equipment rental and operation
● All skiers and riders must be able to swim well.
● All skiers and riders must understand and be able to use the common hand signals.
● Use of a personal flotation device (PFD) should be required for children and youth at all times.
● Beginners should only ski in enclosed, calmer waters without other users nearby.
● In cool waters, a wetsuit should be worn, and even in warmer waters a half body suit is recommended to help minimise abrasion injuries.
● Girls should be advised to always wear at least a half suit to prevent injury through water enema.
● Renters should have previous adequate training which they can demonstrate by answering questions regarding techniques and rules.
● Water recreation helmets and grip gloves are recommended for children and youth by instructors when nessecary.
● Inflatable riders should never attempt to grab the tow rope.
Tow boat drivers
● Tow boat drivers must have the proper license according to the Greek legislation (Article 22 paragraph 2i of the General Regulation of the Port Authority No. 20). Specifically they should have:
Coach licence of any category on waterskiing issued by the General Secretariat of Sports and at least 2 years speedboat driver license or
Coach licence on waterskiing issued by the University of Physical Education and Sport Science and at least 1 year speedboat driver license or
a valid license of trainer in waterskiing, which had been certified based on the provisions General Regulation of Port authority. No. 37 (FEK 101 / 2004) and the owner of the license must have previously exercised, with the permission of the Port Authority, this profession (speedboat driver for tow sports). The validity of the instructor license is determined by the issuer.
● Drivers should team with a spotter, whose duty is to at all times monitor the skier, the tow rope, and the area for dangers.
● Motor propeller strikes are the leading cause of serious injury to water-skiers.
● The driver should not allow other passengers to sit on the sides of the boat.
● Water should be a minimum of 1 metre deep, and the skier should never be released in shallow waters.
● Drivers should observe more conservative speed limits when towing children, not in excess of 25 knots.
● Drivers towing inflatables should maintain conservative speeds to take slow wide turns.
●Drivers should never attempt to let an inflatable wake jump or to “whip” the riders with sharp turns.
What safety factors to look for in choosing and maintaining equipment for your operation?
Equipment (including boat, tow rope, skis, bindings and medical and communications equipment) should be checked daily. Tow lines should be washed down with clean water daily to prevent wear from sea or lake water elements. Wet suits should be cleaned and disinfected with a nonallergenic cleanser between users.
● Always have at least 2 staff member present – one to speak with clients and handle training, and the other to assist in launch and landing activity and to monitor the water at all the times.
● Be sure that your staff members are trained in CPR and first aid.
● Have a rescue boat or PWC available so that skiers and riders in danger can be reached quickly if no water rescue service is in the immeidate vicinity.
● Be sure all staff members, whether on shore or in water, can communicate with each other via VHF radios or a similiar device.
● All staff members should be able to clearly communicate the risks and safety rules to clients. A language barrier could pose a problem should an accident occur, both in terms of immediate medical care and liability for having failed to properly communicate the rules.
● Staff should very regularly check reliable sources regarding wind and surf conditions.
*Source : European Child Safety Alliance, Eurosafe; 2008.- With the support of the European Commission