Coast Guard releases safety alert for parasailing operations

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MOBILE, Ala. — The Coast Guard has issued a safety alert for parasailing operations entitled “Know Your Ropes,” which highlights safety factors associated with previous parasailing incidents.

The findings of past parasail investigations have several common factors, and the Coast Guard has developed the mnemonic ROPES to remind operators of the important safety issues that may help prevent future incidents.

Remember that most parasailing fatalities and injuries are related to the towline.

Observe and monitor weather conditions.

Prepare for emergencies by having documented procedures and crew training.

Ensure that all equipment is properly maintained.

Safety is up to the operator and is expected to provide adequate level of safe operations.

While the Coast Guard does not currently regulate parasailing operations, nor does it inspect or approve parasailing equipment, the Coast Guard is urging mariners to carefully monitor prevailing and predicted weather conditions and tailor operations accordingly.

Parasail operators need to be especially cognizant of weather conditions on both the surface and at operating altitudes, remain well within the rated parameters of on board equipment, with adequate safety margins for control and safe recovery of passengers.

The Coast Guard continues its investigation into the cause of a parasail accident that occurred off Panama City Beach, July 1.

You may read “Know your ROPES” in its entirety on the Coast Guard’s Homeport page.

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