We at Nor’Banks are truly dedicated to your safety, as well as that of your friends and family. We spare no expense to offer the best equipment available, we have a safety-minded and well-trained crew and we only ever operate in favorable conditions. Whether you’re parasailing in the Outer Banks or any number of other beautiful destinations around the world, it’s important to be well-informed about what you can do to ensure a safer flight.
What can you do as a consumer to ensure a safer parasail experience?
Is the vessel Coast Guard certified? What type of parasail training has the captain and crew undergone? How old are the parasails and harnesses in use and when is the last time they were inspected by the manufacturer or the captain? What type of safety equipment is available on board for a water landing? What type of safety drills does the crew run? Your captain and crew should be able to answer these questions with confidence.
Check your equipment.
Is the equipment worn, frayed or broken? Are the harnesses, life preservers or parasails kept in the sun? Do they have any loose stitching or home repairs? If the parasail equipment looks suspect to you, do not proceed with your flight!
Check your fit.
Is the crew giving you the smallest harness in which you can comfortably fit? Is the harness fitted tightly under the life jacket and low on the waist according to the manufacturers guidelines? In the event of a water landing, harness size and fit matters!
Know Your Operators . . .
Operators that are only interested in making a profit may encourage their captains to work in borderline weather conditions, pushing the limits of safe operation. Usually, even these ill-advised flights will conclude without incident, and may even offer an exciting ride for participants. But operating in extreme conditions leaves no room for error. In ideal conditions, even an equipment failure will not result in an accident, as there are several redundancies built into the proper parasail process to safeguard participants.
Operators that are only concerned with offering the lowest price, often neglect to replace and repair equipment according to manufacturer recommendations and WSIA standards. They may not invest in the latest parasail safety equipment or spend the time and money to properly train their staff. If you choose a bargain parasail flight, be aware of what to look for and what questions to ask to fly with confidence.
Responsible operators know their limits. No matter how much experience a captain has, there are times when a flight is too risky. Captains should make a call based not on their ability alone, but how effectively the safety procedures can be carried out in the event of an equipment malfunction. In good conditions, a participant can be kept safe, even when something goes wrong. Knowing this, a good parasail operator will never push the limits.
Responsible operators continue to seek knowledge and training. There is no legal requirement dictating a specific course of training for parasail captains. Many experienced operators base their practices on older techniques or anecdotal evidence. A responsible operator will keep abreast of new parasailing technology and seek official training from the source . . . the leading designers and manufacturers of parasail equipment.
What Do We Do to Provide a Safer Parasail Flight?
The owner and parasail captain have received training directly from the leading equipment designer and manufacturer, and conduct training drills to prepare for every situation.
We are an active member of the Watersports Industry Association (WSIA). The WSIA defines the industry standard for safety in parasail operations. We meet or exceed all WSIA standards for equipment, weather and training.
We operate only in safe weather conditions, we monitor the weather constantly, and we maintain more stringent guidelines for safe operation than indicated by the WSIA.
Our flagship, Icarus II, is an Ocean Pro 31′. Icarus II is the newest parasail boat in operation on the Outer Banks. Each vessel involved in our parasail operation is inspected annually by the U.S. Coast Guard and is certified to carry 12 customers.
All of our Parasail USCG Captains and Mates are CPR/First Aid Certified, and enrolled in a random testing consortium to ensure a drug-free work environment.
All of our boats and equipment are inspected daily to ensure proper operation. We are equipped with the latest in parasail safety technology including the Chute Wrangler, and the Sea Snail.