>Coast Guard Issues Safety Alert on Parasailing

>In response to the recent parasailing accident in Ocean Isle, NC, the Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship issued safety alert 06-09 addressing parasailing incidents.

The Coast Guard reminds the parasailing industry, its vessel owners, operators and shore side personnel to be vigilant in their observations of current and forecasted weather and sea conditions with particular attention paid to wind speed. Approaching weather patterns or squall lines present significant hazards to these operations due to sudden and dramatic shifts in wind direction, gusty winds, or even lightning. In a matter of a few short moments what is intended to be a pleasurable experience can become life threatening.

The Professional Association of Parasail Operators (PAPO) has developed and published parasail vessel Operating Standards and Guidelines for the safe parasail operations. These standards are available to PAPO members and the parasail industry. They can be obtained online here.

Above, two parasail vessels come dangerously close to one another. Vessels engaged in parasailing should not assume themsleves to be considered restricted in their ability to maneuver and should be prepared to give way to other vessels.