FKA Kiteboarding Forums  

Go Back   FKA Kiteboarding Forums > MAIN FORUM > ** KITER BUZZ **
Connect with Facebook

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-23-2014, 06:00 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691
Default FWC Requiring Kiteboarder PFD Use

With the reclassification of kiteboarders as "vessels" and with the passage of 327.375, F.S it would appear that the FWC and partner agencies may start requiring kiteboarders to wear "a noninflatable type I, type II, type III, or type V personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard" and to carry a sound producing device (a whistle).

I understand from a post on Facebook, that officers attempted to enforce the PFD requirement for kiteboarder use at Curry Hammock Park in the Keys today.


"Just finished up kiting at curry hammock. I was stopped twice by FWC and a park ranger saying that kite boarders are required to wear a coast guard approved life jacket or we can be fined 90$. They said this was implemented oct 1st and is being finalized very soon. Is there anyway we can fight this? I feel it is more dangerous to have a bulky vest on. 90% of deaths behind kites would have not have turned out differently with a vest on... So what's the point?"
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kite...1098963577900/

What follows is a guidance document apparently circulated within the FWC and to partner agencies to serve as guidance for the enforcement of the new statute impacting kiteboarders.



Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Tallahassee, FL 32399


COMMERCIAL PARASAILING, KITE BOARDING, KITE SURFING AND MOORED BALLOONING

To all FWC Law Enforcement and our Marine Law Enforcement Partners:

Senate Bill 320 created Section 327.375, Florida Statutes (F.S.), Commercial parasailing. Changes were also made to Section 327.37, F.S., Water skis, parasails, aquaplanes, kite boarding, kite surfing, and moored ballooning regulated, and definitions were added to Section 327.02, F.S. These changes become effective October 1, 2014.

Commercial parasail activities will be regulated in s. 327.375, F.S. as follows:

· The operator must have a current and valid license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
· Commercial parasailing is prohibited during specified weather conditions and a weather log must be maintained and made available for inspection.
· A VHF marine transceiver and a separate electronic device capable of monitoring National Weather Service forecasts and current weather conditions are required.
· The owner or operator of a vessel engaged in commercial parasailing activities must carry liability insurance of specified minimum amounts.
· Violations of the commercial parasailing provisions are second-degree misdemeanors.

The changes to s. 327.37, F.S., prohibit the following:

· No parasailing or moored ballooning within 100 feet of the marked ICW channel or within 2 miles of the boundary of any airport unless permitted by federal regulation.
· No kite boarding or kite surfing within an area one mile long and one-half mile wide from the end of any airport runway, unless permitted by federal regulation.

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a formal determination that kite boards are vessels when “used beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area.” This determination requires kite boarders outside these areas to carry a PFD and sound producing device. Now that kite boarding and kite surfing are included in s. 327.37, F.S., these activities are also specifically regulated similar to water skiing. The requirements that now apply to kite boarding and kite surfing include:

· Prohibition of operation between one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.
· Participants must wear a non-inflatable life jacket.
· They may not be operated or manipulated in such a way as to cause or likely cause a collision with any vessel, bridge, wharf, pier, dock, etc.

On-water enforcement of these new restrictions on kite boarding or kite surfing should involve heightened consideration of when and where it would be most appropriate to initiate a vessel stop. Given the challenges associated with the gear used in these activities, it may often be most appropriate to make contact with operators at or near their launching/landing spot.

Any questions about enforcement of the above-mentioned regulations should be routed through your chain of command.

327.02 Definitions.—

As used in this chapter and in chapter 328, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the term:

(5) “Commercial parasailing” means providing or offering to provide, for consideration, any activity involving the towing of a person by a motorboat if:
(a) One or more persons are tethered to the towing vessel;
(b) The person or persons ascend above the water; and
(c) The person or persons remain suspended under a canopy, chute, or parasail above the water while the vessel is underway.

The term does not include ultralight glider towing conducted under rules of the Federal Aviation Administration governing ultralight vehicles as defined in 14 C.F.R. part 103.

(14) “Kite boarding” or “kite surfing” means an activity in which a kite board or surfboard is tethered to a kite so as to harness the power of the wind and propel the board across a body of water. For purposes of this subsection, the term “kite” has the same meaning as used in 14 C.F.R. part 101.

(25) “Moored ballooning” means the operation of a moored balloon pursuant to 14 C.F.R. part 101.

(41) “Sustained wind speed” means a wind speed determined by averaging the observed wind speed rounded up to the nearest mile per hour over a 2-minute period.

327.37 Water skis, parasails, and aquaplanes, kite boarding, kite surfing, and moored ballooning regulated.—

(5) A person may not operate any vessel towing a parasail or engage in parasailing or moored ballooning within 100 feet of the marked channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway or within 2 miles of the boundary of any airport unless otherwise permitted under federal law.

(6) A person may not engage in kite boarding or kite surfing within an area that extends 1 mile in a direct line along the centerline of an airport runway and that has a width measuring one-half mile unless otherwise permitted under federal law.

327.375 Commercial parasailing.—

(1) The operator of a vessel engaged in commercial parasailing shall ensure that the provisions of this section and s. 327.37 are met.

(2) The owner or operator of a vessel engaged in commercial parasailing may not offer or provide for consideration any parasailing activity unless the owner or operator first obtains and maintains in full force and effect a liability insurance policy from an insurance carrier licensed in this state or approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation or an eligible surplus lines insurer. Such policy must provide bodily injury liability coverage in the amounts of at least $1 million per occurrence and $2 million annual aggregate. Proof of insurance must be available for inspection at the location where commercial parasailing is offered or provided for consideration, and each customer who requests such proof shall be provided with the insurance carrier’s name and address and the insurance policy number.

(3) The operator of a vessel engaged in commercial parasailing must have a current and valid license issued by the United States Coast Guard authorizing the operator to carry passengers for hire. The license must be appropriate for the number of passengers carried and the displacement of the vessel. The license must be carried on the vessel and be available for inspection while engaging in commercial parasailing activities.

(4) A vessel engaged in commercial parasailing must be equipped with a functional VHF marine transceiver and a separate electronic device capable of providing access to National Weather Service forecasts and current weather conditions.

(5)(a) Commercial parasailing is prohibited if the current observed wind conditions in the area of operation include a sustained wind speed of more than 20 miles per hour; if wind gusts are 15 miles per hour higher than the sustained wind speed; if the wind speed during gusts exceeds 25 miles per hour; if rain or heavy fog results in reduced visibility of less than 0.5 mile; or if a known lightning storm comes within 7 miles of the parasailing area.

(b) The operator of the vessel engaged in commercial parasailing shall use all available means to determine prevailing and forecasted weather conditions and record this information in a weather log each time passengers are to be taken out on the water. The weather log must be available for inspection at all times at the operator’s place of business.

(6) A person or operator who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 345 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Effective October 1, 2014"



Comment: I have reproduced the new 327.37 statute below. The statute is ambiguous with regard to what pertains and doesn't specifically pertain to kiteboarding. I believe it isn't intended that we carry an observer, rear view mirror on our "vessels." The only part which specifically is stated to apply to kiters is paragraph (6). I am uncertain, how, if at all, any of the remaining language could be made to apply to us without a legal opinion (the pfd use and kiting relative to daylight).


327.37 Water skis, parasails, aquaplanes, kiteboarding, kitesurfing, and moored ballooning regulated.—

(1)(a) A person may not operate a vessel on any waters of this state towing a person on water skis, or an aquaplane, or similar device unless there is in such vessel a person, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed, or the vessel is equipped with a wide-angle rear view mirror mounted in such manner as to permit the operator of the vessel to observe the progress of the person being towed. This subsection does not apply to class A motorboats operated by the person being towed and designed to be incapable of carrying the operator in the motorboat.

(b) A person may not operate a vessel on any waters of this state towing a person attached to a parasail or similar device unless there is a person in the vessel, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed. A wide-angle rear view mirror is not acceptable for this purpose.

(2)(a) A person may not engage in water skiing, parasailing, aquaplaning, or any similar activity at any time between the hours from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.

(b) A person may not engage in water skiing, parasailing, aquaplaning, or any similar activity unless such person is wearing a noninflatable type I, type II, type III, or type V personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard.

(3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition or a person preparing to participate or participating in an official regatta, boat race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition held pursuant to s. 327.48.

(4) A person may not operate or manipulate any vessel, tow rope, or other device by which the direction or location of water skis, parasail, aquaplane, innertube, sled, or similar device may be affected or controlled, in such a way as to cause the water skis, parasail, aquaplane, innertube, sled, or similar device or any person thereon to collide or strike against or be likely to collide or strike against any vessel, bridge, wharf, pier, dock, buoy, platform, piling, channel marker, or other object, except slalom buoys, ski jumps, or like objects used normally in competitive or recreational skiing.

(5) A person may not operate any vessel towing a parasail or engage in parasailing or moored ballooning within 100 feet of the marked channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway or within 2 miles of the boundary of any airport unless otherwise permitted under federal law.

(6) A person may not engage in kiteboarding or kitesurfing within an area that extends 1 mile in a direct line along the centerline of an airport runway and that has a width measuring one-half mile unless otherwise permitted under federal law.

History.—s. 5, ch. 59-400; s. 9, ch. 63-105; s. 1, ch. 65-361; s. 8, ch. 84-188; s. 6, ch. 87-392; s. 4, ch. 94-241; s. 1, ch. 99-162; s. 11, ch. 2000-362; s. 3, ch. 2014-70.
Note.—Former s. 371.54.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-23-2014, 06:12 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691
Default

I am concerned about the requirement of USCG approval of the PFDs. The dynamics of kiteboarding can be unique and particularly impacting when compared to other watersports. Many USCG PFDs may not be suitable for the demands of kiting without placing the kiteboarder at risk of injury. The faster and stronger the impact the more potentially damaging the effect on the kiter may be with an improperly configured PFD. They need to be trim, with low drag and bulk to reduce impact on the kiter on water impact. Also, they need to not be unduly encumbering thereby impairing ready control of the kiteboarding gear. If the PFD interferes with ready control of the gear this alone could contribute to a serious incident or accident. Also, if the PFD has excessive flotation it could interfere with kiters safely managing in higher wave zones.

I doubt any of this or past accidents and incidents caused by PFDs were properly considered by the FWC before creating this statute.

So, where to from here?

1. Well, we can try to remove or modify the PFD requirement. Removal would be great, I believe PFD use should be voluntary.

2. Failing removal adding in inflatable PFDs (such as are accepted for windsurfers I think) and some leeway in the USCG approval requirement would be significant. I know of a number of flotation aids that work well in kiteboarding but none are USCG certified but may be certified by other entities. An example appears below:


CE 50 - Certified to ISO 12402-5

If people wear the wrong PFD, incidents, accidents and injury may result with some USCG certified PFDs.

3. I have no experience with the use of "suitable" USCG certified Type III PFDs with kiting. So, what can we use out there? I am looking for suggestions that won't do more harm than good.


.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-23-2014, 07:00 PM
BigR's Avatar
BigR BigR is offline
Can't Re-member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In Motion
Posts: 1,620
Default

Quote:
· Prohibition of operation between one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.




I Know Alotta of people that will be terribly upset with this one.

How do they enforce this? do they send squads out every night
patrol and dawn patrol session? Do they keep tabs on the wind
reports on an hourly basis? (cause that is what you need to do)
Or do you simply station agents with night vision goggles or FLIR?

Like to know since I was out there this morning on the water @6:30am
an hour before the sun even came up.........
__________________
__________________
___________________________________
You don't direct ostriches, you herd them
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-23-2014, 09:24 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691
Default

Enforcement is going to be a problem I think. Particularly with no new funding to aid in the enforcement of this ill considered law. I was hoping they would largely ignore it but that may not happen.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-24-2014, 06:33 AM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691
Default

I wrote the following letter to try to help kiters in Canada when similar requirements were proposed in 2009. It presents similar concerns regarding existing certified PFD designs and other constraints related to kiteboarding and the use of flotation aids.

http://www.fksa.org/showthread.php?t=8307
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

Do not advertise outside of [COM] Forums.
Do not show disrespect for others in your postings.
Users can be denied access to this Site without warning.
FKA, Inc., it’s officers and moderators are not responsible
for the content of the postings and any links or pictures posted.

Report Problems by PM to “administrator” or via email to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com

Copyright FKA, Inc. 2004, All Rights Reserved.