• 1.a) Every speedboat used for towing a single-seat parachute must have a minimum overall length of five meters, a minimum weight including engine and equipment of six hundred and fifty kilograms, and its engine must have the following minimum power in horsepower, depending on its construction type: aa) Outboard engine 125 HP ab) Inboard engine 140 HP ac) Inboard-outboard engine 160 HP.
    b) Every speedboat used for towing a two-seat parachute must have a minimum overall length of five meters, a minimum weight including engine and equipment of seven hundred kilograms, and its engine must have the following minimum power in horsepower, depending on its construction type: ba) Outboard engine 140 HP bb) Inboard engine 160 HP bc) Inboard-outboard engine 200 HP.
    c) The parachute can also be towed by a speedboat with an integrated platform and a suitable mechanism (winch), which meets the specifications of either a) or b), depending on the parachute being towed.
    2. The diameter of the towing rope is at least ten centimeters and has a breaking strength of over three tons. It is maintained in excellent condition, free from knots and twists, its length does not exceed one hundred and twenty meters, and it is buoyant in the water, provided that the flight begins from the floating platform mentioned in Article 28.
    3. The use of worn or defective materials that no longer meet the requirements of paragraph 2 is prohibited.
    4. The lessor and operator of the speedboat used for towing the maritime parachute must comply with the manufacturer's instructions for the safe use of the maritime parachute.
    5. The use (towing) of three (3) or more parachutes is prohibited.
    6. The operator of the speedboat towing the maritime parachute is responsible for the proper and completely safe towing of the parachute. Before each towing, a thorough inspection of the towing rope and its attachment points, as well as all the components of the parachute and the equipment carried by the lessees, must be carried out by the operator or another responsible and appropriately trained individual. All equipment must be able to withstand the towing force generated by the speed of the speedboat towing the maritime parachute.
    7. The obligations of the operators and lessors of speedboats mentioned in Article 4 also apply in the case of speedboats used for towing maritime parachutes. Specifically Article 4 describes:
    7.1 Operators of high-speed vessels: a) prohibit the boarding of individuals who do not know how to swim or individuals under the influence of alcohol or toxic substances, b) prohibit the boarding of individuals whose number exceeds the capacity stated in the prescribed certificate of seaworthiness, c) prohibit passengers from standing or sitting on the gunwale of the vessel, d) operate the vessel with great care, avoiding dangerous maneuvers, prioritizing navigational safety and preventing pollution of the sea and coasts, e) carry on board the original license for operating a high-speed vessel, the original certificate of seaworthiness, and a copy of the insurance policy, which must be presented whenever requested by an authorized official of the Port Authorities, f) carry the required equipment for their category, such as rescue and firefighting equipment. All equipment should be suitable for immediate use and not expired, g) in case the high-speed vessel does not have a fuel gauge, they carry a spare suitable fuel container with a safety cap and a capacity of at least three liters, or an auxiliary tank of equivalent capacity, h) comply with the specific port regulations, decisions, orders, and instructions of the Port Authorities in the area of their jurisdiction, including those concerning anchoring, navigation restrictions, or prohibitions for specific reasons, in specific maritime areas or during specific quiet hours, i) in the event of an accident involving another vessel or person, they are obliged to remain at the accident site and provide any possible assistance to the affected individuals. They also have an obligation to immediately report the accident to the Port Authority, j) it is prohibited to navigate: ja) at a distance less than one hundred meters from the outer part of floating buoys mentioned in Article 26, jb) at a distance less than two hundred meters from the usual point where swimmers reach in areas not marked by floating buoys, jc) at a speed exceeding five knots within a distance of less than two hundred meters from the shoreline in areas where there are no swimmers present, in any case, jd) when adverse weather conditions prevail.
    7.2 Owners of speedboats: a) Take care of the proper maintenance and decent appearance of their vessels. b) Fulfill their obligations regarding the inspection of their vessels. c) Have written on the sides of their vessels the name, port, and registration number in the Small Vessel Register (B.E.M.S.) or the logbook. d) Ensure that their vessel is equipped with the required seaworthiness certificate and insurance. The seaworthiness certificate and a copy of the insurance policy of the vessel are valid, kept on board, and presented whenever requested by a Port Authority official. e) Prohibit the use of their vessels by individuals who do not possess a speedboat operator's license, according to Article 3, as well as by individuals under the influence of alcohol or toxic substances. f) Equip their vessels with the necessary supplies suitable for their category, such as life-saving and fire-fighting equipment. All supplies are ready for immediate use, and the expiry date of perishable supplies has not passed.
    Issue B' 6543/21.12.2022 Government Gazette 68343
    7.3 In the case of leasing a speedboat, the lessor fulfills the obligations of paragraph 2, and the lessee fulfills the obligations of paragraph 1.
    7.4 The leasing of a speedboat is prohibited: a) During adverse weather conditions. b) Before sunrise and after sunset. c) When there are damages or malfunctions in the engine.
    7.5 The departure and return from and to the coast of the leased speedboat are permitted only within the designated corridor of Article 27 and at the lowest possible speed, according to the construction type of the speedboat, with the aim of ensuring the safety of swimmers, until that specific point at sea where the provisions of paragraph 1, subclause i, do not apply.
    8. The operator of the speedboat towing the parachute follows a route free from shoals, rocky islets, installations, anchored vessels, and away from the paths of other nearby vessels to ensure the prevention of accidents.
    9. During the flight, the person using the parachute must wear a mandatory personal flotation device of red, green, yellow, or orange color.
    10. Parachute flight is allowed for individuals who know how to swim and are at least eighteen (18) years old. For individuals under the age of eighteen but over the age of fourteen (14), parachute flight is allowed with the consent of the person exercising parental responsibility, provided that it is confirmed that the minor knows how to swim.
    11. For the restrictions in paragraphs 5 and 10, a visually noticeable double-sided sign is placed at the lifting point of the maritime parachute mentioned in item a) of paragraph 18 and at the activity position of the lessor or elsewhere. The sign displays the above restrictions in both Greek and English.
    12. Parachute flight is prohibited under adverse weather conditions and before sunrise and after sunset. In any case, according to General Port Regulation No. 20 (Government Gazette B' 444/26-4-1999), the use of maritime recreational means is prohibited: a) when the wind blows with an intensity greater than five Beaufort or above thirty-eight kilometers per hour, b) when visibility is limited.
    b.Lessors must have a portable digital anemometer at their activity position, and its indications are taken into account for the application of item a) of paragraph 1.
    c. The operator of the speedboat used for towing maritime recreational means checks the weather conditions before and throughout the towing of the maritime recreational means.
    13. The lessors of sea parachutes have a digital anemometer at the lifting points of the sea parachute referred to in paragraph 18, the indications of which are taken into account for the precise application of the criteria of Article 32.
    14. When the flight is carried out from the floating platform referred to in Article 28, two individuals must hold the sea parachute in such a position that its lifting becomes easy and safe. Additionally, the requirement of paragraph 3 of Article 21 is observed.
    15. Simultaneously with the deployment of the parachute, the use of the sea recreational device (such as water skiing, etc.) with the same vessel is prohibited.
    16. The launch or return of the vessel, when it is towing the parachute, is prohibited when other vessels pass within a distance of two hundred (200) meters on either side of the flight path.
    17. The deployment (towing) of the sea parachute is prohibited at a distance less than: a) one hundred meters from the outer part of the floating buoys of Article 26. In cases of peculiarities of the area, such as small bays, the distance can be determined by the decision of the committee of Article 35, which may be below one hundred meters but not below fifty meters, and the relevant decision is recorded on the body of the lease approval.
    b) two hundred meters from the usual point where swimmers reach the sea areas that are not marked with floating buoys. c) two hundred meters from the coastline in sea areas where there are no swimmers, in any case. In cases of peculiarities of the area, such as small bays, the distance can be determined by the decision of the committee of Article 35, which may be below two hundred meters, and the relevant decision is recorded on the body of the lease approval.
    18. The lifting and lowering of the sea parachute is allowed, depending on the peculiarities of the area and with a view to preventing accidents, by: a) a floating platform of Article 28, b) a high-speed vessel equipped with an integrated platform and winch.
    19. In the case where the transportation of individuals who wish to fly with the sea parachute from the lessor's activation position to the lifting points of paragraph 18 and vice versa is required, it is permitted to be carried out with sea recreational means, except for individual watercraft - sea motorcycles and hovercraft, provided that they move within a defined lane and do not exceed a speed of five knots.
    20. The deployment of parachutes for private use is prohibited in any case.
    1. 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.

    Staff Preparedness
    ● 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