1. Water Skiing is permitted if and when the below conditions, rules and restrictions are adhered to:
a) The skier should know how to swim and must wear a specially designed personal flotation device (PFD), such as a lifejacket, 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.
b) The personal floatation device selected must provide buoyancy, keeping the skier afloat on the seas surface. The use of inflatable lifejackets is strictly forbidden.
c) The motorboat used for water skiing must have to the appropriate engine power or horsepower so as to reach and maintain the necessary speeds required to tow even heavyset skiers. 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.
d) The maximum length for a towrope or ski line is 23 meters and the minimum width is 8 millimeters in diameter with the capability to remain afloat.
e) The cleat or point on the boat where line or rope attaches must be in excellent condition and capable to withstand the pull and momentum created by the boats speed.
f) The water ski selected should be safe, constructed from the appropriate materials and provide buoyancy. The skis must be free and clear of any unnecessary sharp or protruding parts, metal, wood or other material that could cause injury to the skier during a fall.
g) Skiing is 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 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.
The landlords of water recreational activities hold a portable digital anemometer where they take into consideration its indications.
h) 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.
i) The simultaneous use and towing of multiple water sports equipment is prohibited (e.g. sleds, rings, tubes, etc.).
k) The rent of a high-speed boat is prohibited when there is an engine's damage or shutdown occurs.
2. An individual must be a minimum of sixteen (16) years of age or older in order to water ski. 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.
3. All Individuals who operate and/or own motorboats, powerboats, etc. that can be used for water sport activities requiring towing, e.g. water skiing, must also adhere to all respective safety rules and regulations.
4. The course or waterway followed by the motorboat operator towing a skier 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.
5. Water skiing 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 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 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.
6.The departure and arrival to and from a shore or coastline by a speedboat towing a skier is permitted only via the designated waterway (ref. Article 27) while traveling at the lowest speed possible to the defined water limits which are not subject to the rules and requirements denoted in the above paragraph (ref. ¶5).
7. 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.
8. There must be two (2) persons on board when the high-speed boat pulls a sea-based recreational vehicle, unless otherwise specified.
9. 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.(7) The towing of a towable object surface vessel by the owner and the operator of a high-speed boat is prohibited if violating the 16 knot wind speed limit for safe use or when the sea conditions are wavy, as well as before sunrise and after sunset.4. The maximum rental rates for surface trailers (including VAT) are set out in KPD 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
Water Skiing is a highly popular competitive and recreational sport in our country that requires all ski schools and clubs offering such services to assure that safety standards are provided to participants. Business owners and ski instructors must observe water safety rules assuring that this sport remains an enjoyable recreational pastime and not a dangerous activity for beach goers.
Both the ski instructor and driver or operator must have the ability to ‘tow’ a skier and must be skilled, knowledgeable and a safe driver.
Motorboat Operators must:
1. Know how to operate and use the motorboat
2. Have an observer and/or assistant on board
3. Be competent in water skiing hand signals
4. Know how to operate the motorboat while towing a skier
5. Recognize the level of the skier so as to adjust speeds as needed
6. Recognize the sea area ones travelling so as to reduce any risks (shallow water, rocky areas, other hazards, etc.)
7. Equip the motorboat with a rear view mirror allowing the operator to view the skier without turning
8. Operate the boat safely away from beach areas, anchored boats, piers, docks, etc.
9. Not travel nor follow directly behind another boat
1. Know how to swim
2. Wear a personal floatation device at all times
3. Observe and follow the trainers or coaches instructions at all times
4. Be competent in water skiing hand signals
5. Not ski beyond his/her capabilities
6. Not ski dangerously
7. Not ski at nighttime hours or times without proper lighting
Thirty Safety Tips Before Your Set out to Water Ski
Water Skiing is a competitive sport and also a recreational pastime that poses potential risks due to the high speeds attained when towing a skier. By following a few basic rules though you increase safety for the skier and yourself.
1. Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Select a safe, specially designed, soft PFD, properly fitted and free from any objects or attachments that may cause injury during a fall, preferably a life vest. Select a PFD that is approved by an official source such as the US Coast Guard. PFDs provide buoyancy keeping the skier afloat while softening the impact during a fall or collision.
2. Insist on the presence of an ‘observer’
A second individual or observer must be present so as to monitor the skier and relay hand signals to the driver. It is preferable if the observer is trained to perform first aid assistance.
3. Hand Signal Knowledge
Assure that the skier, the driver and the observer all know the different hand signals so as to assure accurate communication between the driver and the skier (ex. change of course, increase or decrease of speed, etc.).
4. When the boat is travelling, the passengers and driver must be seated properly in their seats and not standing nor resting on the rails or leaning on the backs of seats.
5. The driver must accommodate his driving style according to the skiers needs and skills maintaining both direction and speed as requested. Under no circumstances should the driver and skier become competitive. Sudden maneuvers are dangerous and jeopardize the safety of the skier and the boats passengers.
6. The driver must be extremely cautious and maintain safe distances from sea areas designated for other water sports such as swimming, other motorboats, sailboats, divers, etc. Additionally the motorboat should never travel close to the shoreline, near other objects, near ports or near other sea areas used for other types of activities.
7. The skier, after a fall, must quickly signal that all is well by raising both his hands above his head. This gesture signals to the driver and observer that the skier has not been hurt.
8. The skier, after a fall where other boats are travelling, must raise his ski upright and half its length out of the water. This gesture alarms other boaters of his presence.
Safety Tips for Water Skiers (cont.)
9. Always be attentive to water conditions when skiing avoiding any floating objects so as to avoid either structural boat damages or more importantly injuries to the skier. Be aware of minimum water depths, for water skiing the depths required should be a minimum of 1.50m and when skiing barefoot or doing jumps a minimum of 1.50m to 1.80m.
10. Stay clear of other boats. Never travel closely behind another boat with a skier and always try to steer clear away from a boat that is following you too closely. It is all to easy for serious accidents to occur if a skier falls directly in front of another boat following too closely.
11. Always shut down the engine when skier is trying to board the boat. The propeller blades oftentimes can turn even though the engine is in neutral. Accidents can occur if while the engine is running a gear is accidentally engaged.
12. Assure that the towrope is completely stretched, no slack, before you hand signal to ‘take off’. Miscommunication between the skier and driver at take off may cause injuries to the skier.
13. When towing a novice, beginning level skier, both the driver and the operator must be extra careful and cautious, in addition to maintaining low speeds, a maximum of 22mph, depending on the age and weight of the skier. Slow increases in speed, wide-open turns and caution offer a safe and enjoyable ride.
14. Avoid skiing directly onto a floating platform or the shoreline/beach. The safest way to end a ski session is by stopping the skier directly behind the boats wake (between its waves), as the boat is floats parallel/alongside to the floating platform or shore. The skier then simply swims to the boat and climbs aboard.
15. Avoid skiing near floating platforms or other boats or fixed objects in an attempt to spray water on people that may be on them. This type of behavior not only discredits the sport but also increases risks, just by one small miscalculation, of collisions with such objects.
16. Never wrap any part of your body with the towrope or place the handle behind you neck or between your legs or put one hand or foot inside the handle. Serious injuries can occur in all these cases if a fall occurs.
17. Passengers should never pull the towrope with the skier, close to the boat. If a skier has fallen, the towrope or the handle can seriously injury either the skier or the passenger.
18. Replace or repair any problems regarding the towropes, the handles, or the cleats. Any sudden incident, for example a towrope breaking, can cause serious injuries to the skier.
19. Avoid travelling with the towrope floating in the water. It is best to collect the rope into the boat after each ski session. Ropes floating in the water can cause accidents to nearby swimmers or even to passengers on the boat itself.
20. Avoid using very tight bindings on the skis so as to reduce risks of injuries from falls where the skis did not come off. Some newer models, such as high wrap boots, even though they provide an excellent fit and support, they lack the capability to be removed easily in case of a fall.
21. Release mechanisms are required when performing toehold tricks. Without the release mechanism, any fall can cause serious injuries.
22. Cease any boating activities if a storm arises.
23. Improve your fitness level by starting a workout program prior to the start of the summer season. This will help prevent any unexpected surprises and possible minor injuries if your muscles are too ‘rusty’. It’s also best to warm up each time before you set out to ski.
24. Never ski if your tired, you run the risk of injury.
25. Always wear a helmet, specially designed pants and a life vest if you’re doing jumps.
26. Always wear specially designed wet suits with an integrated personal floatation device if you’re skiing barefoot, without skis.
27. If on the boat you are using a bar, extra caution must be taken when turning to pick up a skier, avoiding any abrupt actions. Also, the weight of the bar may alter the boats wake.
28. Wear appropriate wet suits when skiing in very cold condition so as to protect against hypothermia.
29. Skiers can protect themselves from injuries by wearing wetsuits and ski pants.
30. Avoid being towed simultaneously with another skier behind the same boat.