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Going parasailing? Be smart about safety

Ah, summer. A time for slathering on suntan oil, picnicking and heading for the shore where there's always fun to be had. But if your fun includes parasailing, you need to proceed with caution.

It certainly looks like fun, gliding high above the blue water while tethered to the boat below. To make sure that your experience is a good one, however, you must be proactive about your own safety using the below tips.

Visually inspect the equipment. The boat used to tow parasailors should look as if it's well-maintained and the tow rope — your lifeline — should never appear weathered or frayed.

Only sail with established parasail businesses. The guy with the beachfront operation may be legit, or he may have just showed up that morning with a boat and a harness. Established, reputable businesses will carry liability insurance to cover any unfortunate mishaps.

Read your release form. Never sign a release without understanding all of the risks.

Pay attention to the safety briefing. Professional operators are safety conscious and will provide their customers with detailed safety instructions that should include:

-- A description of the risks involved in parasailing.

-- Proper usage of hand signals while sailing.

-- How to land safely.

-- Emergency rescue instructions.

If you wind up injured due to negligence of the parasailing company, you could find yourself with a mountain of medical bills. In some cases, you may wind up permanently disabled and no longer able to work or enjoy your lifestyle.

A New York personal injury attorney is one source of guidance after a parasailing accident.

Source: Parasail Safety Council, "Consumer Parasail Safety Tips," accessed June 09, 2017

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