12 Ways to Do Water Sports Safely
BEFORE beginning to take part in a marine sport at the beach:
1) Make sure that the rental business holds from the Port Authority a valid license for the sport in question (www.safewatersports.gr/cat/επιχειρήσεις-σπορ/). According to the Law, no other documentation is sufficient.
2) For any marine recreational activity where a speedcraft tows a flotable device (e.g. water-skiing, paragliding, water-sled, water-rings) it is mandated by law that:
- The operator of the tractor craft is a holder of a coach/water-skiing instructor certificate. Holding a speedcraft license is not, under any circumstances, sufficient documentation.
- It is mandatory that a second person with the exclusive task of observing the procedure is aboard the craft.
3) Request to see the lifeboat (coloured orange and labelled “Lifeboat”), which needs to be on standby and which is never rented.
4) Make sure that there is a lifeguard nearby, if their presence is mandatory on the specific beach.
5) Make sure that no marine sport is attempted, if you feel unwell or you have consumed alcohol or if it has been less than 2 hours since a meal. It is forbidden to rent recreational marine sports vessels before sunrise or after sunset.
6) As a guardian, do not let a child who does not know how to swim well to take part in a marine sport. Always assess the potential dangers of the marine sport before giving your consent.
7) Don't rent a marine sport unless you have reached the minimum age.
- 14 years for canoeing, Aqua Scooter, Seabuggy.
- 14 years for Sea-cycling (unless an adult in also on board)
- 16 years for Water-skiing, Water-sled, Water-ring, Windsurfing, Catamaran, Sailboating (unless there is parental consent for it).
- 16 years for Enginecraft (unless an adult in also on board).
- 16 years for Κayaking.
- 18 years for a Mini Cruiser.
- 18 years for Paragliding or over 14 years old with parental consent.
- 18 years for Αcrylicraft (unless an adult in also on board).
8) Establish the existence and use the floating buoys channel at the seaside post of the business for entry and exit of all leased seacraft to and from the beach.
WHILE taking part in the marine sport:
9) Take all mandatory precautionary measures (e.g. life vest, helmet, etc.), irrespective of the level of proficiency and experience in the sport in question. Check that said equipment is in good condition (e.g. worn-out life vests, frayed ropes, etc.) .
10) Request information and instructions - advice from the person in charge of the sports business. Adhere to safety distances from the bathers, do not show off or perform dangerous manoeuvers, do not overestimate your abilities and do not operate a speedcraft (jet ski, etc.), unless you hold a legal license from the Port Authority.
11) Find out about the weather forecast for the region, maintain eye-contact with the sport business’ post and immediately return if the weather turns bad.
AFTER the sea sport:
12) Notify the competent Port Authority, if you have found that the mandatory precautionary measures were not observed (www.safewatersports.gr/cat/λιμενικές-αρχές-el-el/).
*The above copy was drawn up by the Safe Water Sports association in co-operation with the Coast Guard.