1. The requirements to tow a single seated parasail include a speedboat or motorboat with a minimum five (5) meters in length, weighing a total of and no less than six hundred and fifty (650) kilos (vessel, engine, and gear), equipped with an engine of horsepower comparable to the vessel and a minimum of 140 HP for Outboard motors, 140 HP for Inboard motors, 160 HP for Inboard-Outboard motors.
2. The requirements to tow a JAMBO two seated parasail include a speedboat or motorboat with a minimum five (5) meters in length, weighing a total of and no less than seven hundred (700) kilos (vessel, engine, and gear), equipped with an engine of horsepower comparable to the vessel and a minimum of 140 HP for Outboard motors, 160 HP for Inboard motors, 200 HP for Inboard-Outboard motors.
3. The requirements to tow a parasail include a speedboat or motorboat equipped with a built in launching board or platform, equipped with the appropriate gear (harness, winch), a comparable engine based on the type of parachute and in accordance to the above minimum requirements.
4. The towing of three (3) seated or more parachutes is strictly forbidden.
5. The diameter of the towrope attached to the parachute must be at least ten (10) mm regardless its position and should have a crushing limit of more than two (2) tonnes based on the manufacturer's specifications. The ropes must be maintained in perfect condition, free from any knots or kinks, with a maximum length of one hunded and twenty (120) meters and the ability to remain afloat since the beginning of the ''flight'' takes place in the platform as stated in Article No. 28. The length of the rope may be reduced by the Hellenic Port Authority as stated in Article No. 25 if it is required under special reasons.
6. The individual manning the speedboat/motorboat towing the parasails, whether a licensed individual, a qualified coach/instructor, and/or an assistant, is responsible for a smooth and entirely safe tow, where prior to each tow, a thorough review and inspection is made of the tow ropes, chutes, winches, harnesses, etc., used and those which attach to the individual. More specifically, assures that the cleat or point on the speedboat where the line or towrope attaches is in excellent condition and capable to withstand the pull and momentum created by the boats’ speed.
7. All individuals who operate and/or own motorboats, powerboats, etc. that can be used for water sport activities requiring towing, e.g. water skiing, parasailing, must also adhere to all respective safety rules and regulations.
8. The course or waterway followed by the motorboat operator towing a parasail must be free and clear of any hazards or objects such as marine equipment, fish farm tanks, floating devices such as platforms, diving boards, etc. and away from the path of other boats or vessels for safety purposes and the prevention of accidents.
9. All individuals are required to wear a specially designed Personal Floatation Device (PFD) e.g. lifejacket, life vest, in either red, green, yellow or orange colour during their flight.
10. Parasailing is permitted only when the individual knows how to swim and is a minimum of eighteen (18) years of age. For minors, individuals under the minimum age but no less that fourteen (14) years, the parents or guardians maintain responsibility, must provide parental consent, in addition to confirming the minors ability to swim properly.
11. The owner/lessor is responsible to clearly display signage on or around the launching board/platform, or wherever else suggested by the Hellenic Port Authority, listing the above restrictions (¶10) clearly, on two-sided appealing signs and written in both the Greek and English languages.
12. Parasailing is prohibited during adverse weather conditions and prior to sunrise and after sunset hours. The criteria for identifying adverse weather conditions are determined by the Hellenic Coast Guard or Harbor Master, who take into consideration the local area factors that may affect weather conditions or pose hazards such as sea-state, precipitation (rain), wind factor – its direction and speed, in relation to both the surrounding water and land areas. On each occasion, based on the General Port Regulation No 20 (B 444 / 26-4-1999), the use of waterski 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 waterski is prohibited when visibility is limited.
13. All Owners, Operators, Lessors have installed wind gauges at the point where the chute (speedboats launching board) lifts-off, in accordance to the provisions listed in paragraph ¶18 which details the criteria for its proper implementation.
14. 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.
For individuals who actively assist in water sports activities involving motorboats and towing, such as water skiing, parasailing, rings, sleds, etc., the above qualifications must also be met.
Two individuals manage and hold the chute in order to facilitate an easy and safe takeoff. When the flight is carried out by a floating platform with a non-slip surface, its surface area must be at least 80 m2. and it should carry a non-slip mat.
15. The simultaneous towing of parachutes, parasails, etc. and water skiers from the same vessel is strictly forbidden.
16. The takeoff and landing process while towing a parachute is prohibited when within two hundred (200) meters from the path of other vessels.
17. Parachuting, Parasailing 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.
18. Parachutes are permitted to takeoff and land depending on the location and with great regard to safety and the avoidance of accidents, from
a. a floating launch board or platform, referenced in Article 28 for parasailing
b. a speedboat/motorboat equipped with an onboard launching board and winch
c. a launch board or platform situated near the shore by the lessor in accordance to rules and regulations found in Article 35. In this case, the takeoff and landing to and from the coastline by a speedboat towing a parasail is permitted only via the designated waterway (ref. Article 27) and when traveling at the lowest speed possible and up to the point where the above rules and requirements are not triggered.
19. When and if required, transferring individuals between the shore line and the designated launch board or platform (ref. ¶18, points (a) and (b) above), interested in participating in parasailing activities, is permitted via the use of non-motorized and motorized craft, excluding sea bikes, jet skis and Hover Crafts, only when traveling in designated waterways and at a maximum speed of five (5) knots.
20. 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.
21. The rent of a high-speed boat is prohibited when there is an engine's damage or shutdown occurs.
22. Parachutes/parasailing is forbidden for private use.
23. Unless otherwise specified, the boating distance for the rented mororized sea water sports recreational vehicles (including waterski and boats for personal use) as well as those used by the lessor when conducting waterski or parachute, water towable tubes or rings, or other means, should be no more than one (1) nautical mile.
- PARASAILING1. It falls into the category of flying trailer objects.Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Speedboat Laws from 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992):"Trailer object" means any object which 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 includes any person pulled by the boat.2. Any person who is pulled by the use of flying trailer objects must necessarily wear a life jacket.Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Cruiser Laws from 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992):"Lifejacket" is a type of personal clothing that can be easily worn and securely attached to the body of an adult person or a child, has a buoyancy of at least fifteen (15) kilograms, without having to be filled with air, it includes a whistle, it has a distinct color and finally it is capable of holding the head of the user in case he does not keep his senses out of the water.Article 5 (1) (Speedboat Operator Obligations) of the Cruiser Laws 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992):The speedboat operator must ensure that any person transported or pulled by the vessel, wears a life-jacket.3. Provisions for the safe use and operation of flying trailer objects.Regulation 26 (Flying Trailers) of the Speed Boats Regulations 1999 - CP 121/1999:26. (1) Flying trailer means any trailer capable of flying(2) It is prohibited to the owner and the operator of a high-speed vessel to allow a person under 8 years of age to be lifted using a flying trailer by the vessel unless he/she is accompanied by a person who is over 18 years of age.(3) It is prohibited to use a high-speed vessel towing a flying trailer in a distance less than 300 meters away from the nearest shore, rock island, reef, object which is less than 2 meters in depth and object that is protruded on the surface of the sea or at a crossing direction with another flying trailer.(4) The use of any deteriorated or inappropriate material or mechanism, as well as the use of any material or mechanism in violation of the specifications set by the manufacturer of a flying trailer, shall be prohibited.(5) The owner and the operator of the high-speed vessel to which the flying trailer is fastened must control and sustain all kinds of materials and the mechanisms which are used for the flying trailer based either on the manufacturer's instructions or, when there are no any instructions, based on the experience acquired prior to any use of the flying trailer.(6) The edge of the tow line or the tow rope on the side of the high-speed boat must be permanently and securely attached to the boat.(7) The edge of the towing line or rope on the side of the flying trailer must be securely fastened and thoroughly inspected by the owner and the operator of the high-speed boat before each flight.(8) The total length of the towing line or towing rope of a flying trailer must not exceed 100 meters.(9) The owner of any flying trailer must keep a diary regarding the use of the flying trailer that presents precisely its duration of use, any details of its maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and generally any kinds of observations.(10) The use by the owner and operator of the high speed flying craft and towing rope in violation of a 16 knot wind speed limit for safe use or when the sea state is undulating, before and after sunrise and after sunset of the sun.(11) During each flight, the owner and the operator of the high-speed boat must ensure that a second person is in charge of the surveillance of the flight since the boat construction requires it.(12) The owner and the operator of a high-speed boat must ensure that any person who is lifted by using an object towed by a vessel, wears a life jacket and complies with the provisions of these Regulations.(13) Both the boat operator and the person who is in charge of monitoring the flight of a flying trailer must always obey to the instructions of the manufacturer of the flying trailer.4. The maximum rental rates for flying trailer items (including VAT) are set out in KDP 135/2015.
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