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Watersports safety tips

WATERSPORTS OPERATORS in popular holiday destinations could be putting holidaymakers in danger with unsafe equipment and poor operating procedures, warns the Holiday Which? magazine.

In all, 11 out of 18 operators investigated in Corfu and Costa Blanca – each offering the likes of jet-skis, inflatable rides and parasailing – were rated either unsafe or potentially unsafe, and seven centres were rated unsafe by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) watersports safety expert.

With no European-wide legislation for the operation and management of beach watersports, unscrupulous companies can continue to operate without taking safety seriously.

Holiday Which? gives the following safety tips to consider before taking to the water:

• Equipment that is being properly looked after should be stored out of the sun, with sand and salt rinsed off in fresh water.

• Properly-fitting life jackets and protective helmets should be provided.

• Operating areas should be buoyed off to maintain a safe distance from other watersports.

• Operators should take personal details and ask about any medical conditions.

• One-man operations are more likely to be unsafe; if an operator is driving the boat or talking to customers, who is being the look-out?

Lorna Cowan, editor of Holiday Which? said: “It’s not much fun having to spend your precious holiday time in casualty. We saw too many watersports operators who are making this all too likely with their total disregard for safety standards.”