Parasailing is a common tourist activity, and it’s one that can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there is a dark side to parasailing, and that is that there is a large risk of serious injuries.
Many accidents occur because of problems with the towline. This is one of the first things you should ask to see if you’re going to go parasailing. The towline should be rated for the correct strength. You should make sure that the line has not been worn out by overuse or exposure to the elements. You should also look for knots and overloading to reduce the risk of being in the air when that line snaps.
Did you know that the load on a parasailing towline can quadruple as wind speeds double? Towlines weaken with every use, so there is always a potential that this use could be the one that causes an accident, especially if the company running the parasailing activity doesn’t change out towlines often.
When should you refuse to go parasailing?
If the towline is faded, dirty or visibly worn, those are signs that you should not go parasailing. Every time you go parasailing, you want the lines to look pristine. If they aren’t in good condition, that’s probably because the operators aren’t changing them often enough.
Also be hesitant if the owner or operator doesn’t want to show you the line. Any capable operator would be happy to show you that their lines are safe and that you’re in good hands.
Another time to avoid parasailing is when the winds kick up. It would make sense that parasail operators would stop taking people out into the water when storms pop up or when the wind is too high, but in reality, they can set their own standards. It’s a good idea to avoid parasailing if a thunderstorm is nearby and to wait for calmer weather.
On top of these times to avoid parasailing, you should also be cautious if the operator gets too close to shore on others’ rides. You don’t want to go so high that you could land on the sand in an accident. At approximately 600 feet or greater, it becomes difficult to communicate with the operator, so it’s best to keep below that height and to stay at least 1,500 feet from shore. There is a 3-to-1 rule for safety that should always be followed.
These are some times when you should avoid parasailing. If you’re hurt while parasailing, then you need to seek medical attention. Parasailing accidents can be serious, so quick treatment is essential.