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The following regulations apply to all commercial parasailing operations commencing within the city.
(A) Definitions. For purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply.
COMMERCIAL PARASAILING. Providing or offering to provide, for consideration, any activity involving the towing of a person by a motorboat when:
(a) One or more persons are tethered to the towing vessel;
(b) The person or persons ascend above the water; and
(c) The person or persons remain suspended under a canopy above the water while the vessel is underway.
The term does not include ultralight glider towing conducted under the Federal Aviation Administration rules governing ultralight air vehicles as defined in 14C.F.R. part 103.
SUSTAINED WIND SPEED. A wind speed determined by averaging the observed wind speed rounded to the nearest whole knot over a two minute period.
(B) Authority of law enforcement. The city's law enforcement or fire department ocean rescue staff may close parasail operations at any time upon a judgment that the prevailing weather conditions are deteriorating in such a manner or that operation is being conducted in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. Incident reports. Operators must file an official incident report with the city's law enforcement agency immediately upon any known, or passenger-implied injury or rescue that requires medical attention.
(C) Business location required. All persons and businesses engaged in commercial parasailing activities must maintain a physical location of business office or headquarters at the location or at an upland improved facility immediately adjacent to the location or area where vessels or equipment for commercial parasailing operations are being offered to the public. For purposes of this subsection, IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT means the parasailing operator owns a building, leases space within an upland approved facility, or has a contractual right to operate on the land adjacent to the water.
(D) Communications capability. All places of business for commercial parasailing must maintain a communications system including a telephone, either land line or cellular, and marine radio in good working condition at its business operations office with the functional capacity to communicate with all company vessels utilized in the business, local law enforcement and the United States Coast Guard.
(E) Insurance requirements. The owner of a vessel engaged in commercial parasailing may not offer or provide for consideration any parasailing activity unless the owner first obtains and carries in full force and effect an insurance policy, from an insurance carrier licensed in this state or approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation, insuring against any accident, loss, injury, property damage, death or other casualty caused by or resulting from any commercial parasailing activity. The insurance policy must provide coverage of at least $1 million per person and $2 million per event. Proof of insurance must be available for inspection at the location where commercial parasailing is offered or provided for consideration, and each customer who requests it shall be provided with the insurance carrier's name and address and the insurance policy number.
(F) Vessel requirements. A person may not operate any vessel engaged in commercial parasailing unless:
(1) All riders in the vessel wear an appropriate flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard, other than an inflatable device, which is in serviceable condition and of the proper size.
(2) The vessel is in full compliance with all requirements of the United States Coast Guard governing crewing and equipment carriage for passenger-carrying vessels as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations or as otherwise specified by the United States Coast Guard in the vessel's certificate of inspection; and
(3) The vessel is equipped with a functional VHF marine transceiver and a separate electronic device capable of access to National Weather Service forecasts and current weather conditions, as well as communication with the United States Coast Guard and the operator's fixed business location.
(4) The person has a current and valid license issued by the United States Coast Guard authorizing that person to engage in carrying passengers for hire. The license must be appropriate for the number of passengers carried and the displacement of the vessel. The license must be carried on the vessel and be available for inspection while commercial parasailing activities are conducted.
(5) An observer 18 years of age or older is present in the vessel at all times to monitor the progress of any tethered parasail rider and parasail equipment. The observer may not be a customer, must be attentive to the parasail rider or riders and equipment, and may not have any other duties while the riders are in the water or suspended above the water.
(G) Operational requirements. A person engaged in commercial parasailing must meet the following requirements:
(1) Each passenger and parasail rider must be given a safety briefing before embarking or before the parasail activity commences. This briefing must include a description of the equipment, the parasailing activity and the inherent risks and instruction on how to safely evacuate from the passenger support system during a water landing.
(2) A person operating a vessel for commercial parasailing may not engage in parasailing or any similar activity, at any time between the hours of one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.
(3) Pre-flight weather evaluation. The operator shall use all available means to evaluate and determine if weather conditions are favorable for parasailing, using all means available to make such a determination. Prior to the commencement of the first flight each day a designee from the parasail business will access the National Weather Service (NWS) website and print the weather forecast for the day. The printout will be maintained in a log book and will be readily available for inspection by law enforcement in the fixed business location for their operation.
(4) Operational weather requirements. Weather, wind and sea conditions. Commercial parasailing is prohibited and no operator shall engage in parasailing activities in rain, heavy fog the results in reduced visibility of less than 0.5 miles, or during an audible thunder storm or a visible lightning storm within seven miles of the parasailing area. No operator shall engage in parasailing activities in a sustained wind speed of more than 20 miles per hour or when waves are at six feet or above. In addition to the requirements for the fixed business location each boat/captain shall be required to have a hand held wind speed measuring device on board all vessels utilized for the business at all times.
(5) Distance from swimming zone, shoreline, and fixed objects. Parasail operators must maintain a minimum operating distance of at least 1,800 feet from any swimming zone, shoreline, bridge or pier or similar fixed structure so that the vessel, towline, parachute and rider does not come within 1,800 yards of the shoreline, pier or fixed structure. This restriction applies to the entire commercial parasailing apparatus, including the vessel, towline, and rider. Parasail boats underway may also not operate within 1,800 yards of another parasail boat at any time, or within 400 feet of an anchored vessel or person in the water.
(6) Flight location limitations. Passenger flights shall at all times be limited to the ocean; furthermore, other provisions of the city's Code of Ordinances shall apply to limit the location of parasailing activities within the ocean, and all other ordinances governing businesses operating in the city shall likewise be applicable.
(7) Launch and recovery of riders. Commercial parasail operators shall launch riders only from and recover riders only to the vessel.
(8) Towline limitation. A towline used for commercial parasailing may not exceed 500 feet in length.
(9) Right-of-way rules. Parasail vessels shall follow all United States Coast Guard Rules of the Road. Vessels engaged in parasailing should not assume themselves to be considered RAM vessels (restricted in their ability to maneuver) and should be prepared to give way to other vessels.
(10) In-flight floatation devices. All riders shall wear a correctly sized and properly adjusted, United States Coast Guard- approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device while in flight.
(11) Watercraft. All watercraft shall meet the registration and license requirements of the State of Florida, and all propeller craft must have propeller guards
(12) Equipment. All equipment utilized in commercial parasailing operations shall be in good condition, meet all manufacturer's specifications for same, and shall meet all requirements of applicable federal and state agencies and regulations governing said equipment.
(H) It shall be unlawful for any person or operator to violate any provision of this section, and each such violation shall be punishable as provided in § 10.99.
(Ord. 2013-09, passed 11-13-12)