Over 230 enthusiastic guests pushed the parasail industry to its next level at the 2014 Parasail Operators Symposium on November 6-8 at the Magnuson Hotel at Marina Cove in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Previous to the symposium, the WSIA hosted the first-ever Law Enforcement Forum on November 5. This interactive session covered every detail of the new Florida Statute on parasailing, which the WSIA helped to pass last February.
Over 45 law enforcement officers and 15 Coast Guard representatives participated. The new Florida law was signed by the governor on June 1 and went into law on October 1. Major Richard Moore of the FWC conducted the forum, assisted by reps from the USCG, FAA, and the NTSB.
Owners and operators from as far away as Guam showed up bright and early for the symposium kickoff on November 6. Also in attendance were representatives from Hawaii, Washington, California, New Jersey, Maryland, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Gulf Coast and of course, Florida.
Eight exhibitors displayed while the USCG, FAA, NTSB as well as ASTM International gave comprehensive reports on the state of parasailing. The current ASTM Standards were reviewed and a new topic of Emergency Procedures was introduced. Peter Rietz from Rietz Law Firm was on hand to present a risk management breakout and overview of the current statute. Exhibitors also hosted breakouts on Friday and Saturday.
Denny Salas of the WSIA was excited to spend time with this passionate and talented group of Parasail experts. Salas will become the new executive director of the WSIA effective January 1, 2015. “It’s wonderful to see the parasail industry come together to meet with their counterparts and coalesce around best practices,” Salas said. “This year, we saw this large group listen to law enforcement officials from top agencies and associations. I was impressed with all of the positive steps taken to make parasailing an enjoyable and safe activity for all participants and businesses.”
Larry Meddock, current executive director of the WSIA was recognized for all of his great work within parasailing industry, including the organization of the annual Parasail Operators Symposium, with a standing ovation. “This segment has contributed to the growth of the WSIA and the entire towed watersports world,” Meddock said. “I’m happy to be able to share best practices across all activities, and I’m confident the parasail industry is in great hands.”
Special thanks to the WSIA staff as well as Steve Fisher from Surf Expo for assistance.
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Donoso, Kevco, Denny Salas