Parasailing Safety along Baldwin Co. Beaches

Parasailing Safety along Baldwin Co. Beaches

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It's one of the best views on Pleasure Island.

"You get a really good view from the sky," says Pleasure Island Parasail owner Chip Begnaud.

But not today, "the way the winds gusting right now it's just not a safe environment to be parasailing right now."

Alabama does not regulate parasail operations but the city of Gulf Shores does through a city ordinance passed in 2010. "All of those mechanisms that are part of the adventure are regulated and are also based on some manufacturer specifications," says city spokesman Grant Brown.

Although his business is based in Orange Beach, Begnaud operates two locations in Gulf Shores. "We take the safety of our customers very seriously."

The ordinance requires businesses to trim tow lines every seven days or 400 flights, regulates maintenance, caliber and the amount of line each boat can carry. It also has certain requirements of the winches and maybe most importantly requires each business to carry a certain level of insurance.

"We have to list them as additionally insured so they are certificate holders so if something happens and we let our insurance lapse then they are notified as well and pull our license," says Begnaud.

There are about a dozen parasail companies on Pleasure Island. Only three of them have business licenses in Gulf Shores.

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