Parasailing can be a wonderfully enjoyable activity when everything goes well. But over the last few years, there have been too many instances where accidents have occurred and have lead to dangerous and deadly situations.
Now, the National Transportation Safety Board is looking into parasailing. What you may not know is that it is a relatively unregulated industry. When you step onto a boat that offers parasailing, you may literally be taking your life in your hands.
Seatrade-Insider has covered this story. Here are some pieces of the article, reprinted below. For the entire article at Seatrade-Indier.com, please click through here.
In its first investigative report into parasailing, the National Transportation Safety Board found a largely unregulated activity with serious accidents and deaths frequently caused by faulty equipment. The board did not single out cruise-related excursions, however one of the eight incidents it reviewed involved a fatality on a cruise line tour in St. Thomas three years ago.
The NTSB identified a variety of parasailing safety concerns including vessel operators who continued to operate in hazardous wind conditions, the use of inadequate equipment or unserviceable gear and towline strength that was, in some cases, compromised.
Several cruise lines that offer parasailing excursions told Seatrade Insider they follow stringent safety standards.
Norwegian Cruise Line requires all of its operators to be active members of the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA), a self-regulating organization committed to the promotion of safety and professionalism in the parasailing industry. ‘WSIA requires members to adhere to their stringent operating standards and guidelines,’ said Norwegian’s AnneMarie Mathews, vp public relations.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is in the process of reviewing the NTSB’s findings, according to Cynthia Martinez, director, global corporate communications.
She said the company’s shore excursion staff performs on-site inspections to personally evaluate tour operations. Plus, ‘In our contract with each operator we ensure that they meet the all local laws and regulations, as well as having any and all necessary certifications, licenses and documents required by their country’s government. All of our tour operators must also carry proper insurance that meets the industry standards.’
Carnival Cruise Lines, whose website advertises parasailing in destinations including Key West and St. Thomas, acknowledged but did not answer emailed questions.
Princess Cruises does not offer any parasailing excursions, a spokeswoman confirmed, but she was not immediately able to provide further information about why not.
Questions about a parasailing accident on a cruise ship vacation or cruise excursion?
For more information or to ask further questions about parasailing injuries, cruise ship related injuries or accidents, please contact the cruise lawyers at Waks and Barnett, P.A. in Miami.
Call at 1-800-905-2891. Consultations are free and require no obligation on your part.