Monitoring Weather for Parasailing

The growth of parasailing as an amusement activity has led to calls for standardization. A new ASTM subcommittee, F24.65 on Parasailing, will be developing standards for operations, crew proficiency and equipment. F24.65 is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices

Because weather, particularly gusty wind, has been a variable in parasailing accidents, the first standard developed by F24.65 is F2993, Guide for Monitoring Weather Conditions for Safe Parasail Operation.

"This new standard is a huge step in the right direction to keep parasail operators alert and to monitor weather in a proper fashion," says Larry Meddock, executive director, Water Sports Industry Association, and an F24 member. "F2993 may be the tipping point to ensure safe parasail operations and operators throughout the world."

According to Meddock, insurance companies and the U.S. Coast Guard will be essential in enforcing compliance to F2993 by parasail operators. Both have been very involved in the development of the new standard.

"Once the insurance industry is aware of F2993, companies will most likely adjust their policies to reference the standard," says Meddock. "If there is an accident, an investigator will look to see if the operator was following F2993."

Regarding the Coast Guard, Meddock notes that parasail boats must have a licensed captain to take people out in a boat for hire. If the captain goes out in weather conditions not in conformance with the standard, the captain's license could be in jeopardy.

All interested parties are invited to join Subcommittee F24.65 in its work.

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CONTACT Technical Information: Larry Meddock, Water Sports Industry Association • Orlando, Fla. • Phone: 407-620-7992 | ASTM Staff: Leonard Morrissey • Phone: 610-832-9719 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 24-26, 2013 • Scottsdale, Ariz. •

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