It is not a secret that people go to sea not only for bronze tan, but also for a certain portion of adrenaline. Beach rides like "banana", "tablet" and "disk" attract vacationers so strongly that people do not think about safety of such water rides. But as it turns out there are many hidden rocks in this sphere.

Who is responsible for bringing you back safe and sound? Who controls technical state of the rides and how often do they undergo inspections? The fact is that even state bodies could not clear answers to these questions.

Vicious cycle

Crimea remains the leader on tourist inflow and ForUm's correspondents addressed the Ministry for tourism and resorts to clarify the situation. What other department can possible know more about entertainment and safety of holiday-makers? However, the first attempt failed. The Ministry told us it was not responsible for activity of water rides and sent us to the Regional department of State industrial safety agency of Crimea in the city of Sevastopol.

Well, it turned out the Ministry missed. Water rides are not controlled by this local department, nor by the central office of the State service for     mines inspectorate and safety, which is responsible only for high-risk mechanical rides, like water slides, Ferris wheel and similar constructions.

ForUm was also told unofficially that the department has no possibility to control the activity of such rides unless owners ask for inspection. But who will complain about his own activity? In fact, specialists of the department can carry out raids only when something has already happened. 

Having got such vague explanation, ForUm went to the next level of controlling agencies - the State Emergencies Service. The Service also could not give us any answers, though it did not come as a surprise, because the Emergencies Service actually deals with aftermath, when, for example, people require immediate help after the "banana" ride. Press office of the department also informed that there was no separate statistics counting injuries or lethal outcomes caused by water ride activity and recommended to address the State industrial safety agency. But we have already been there...

Looking for the next link of  this complicated chain we called the State inspection for sea and river transport, but received the same old answer - "water rides are beyond our competence". However, the Inspection specified that it can control the activity of a man who, for example, drives a motor boat, though everything being dragged behind the boat, like inflatable water rides in our case, are still beyond the competence.

"We control only boats and what is in them, as well as licenses and various permissions to drive these boats." The press office of the department informed that among the most common violations there are unauthorized organization of water rides on the beach, ignorance or non-compliance with the rules of operation, absence or insufficient number of life vests, non-functional life saving equipment and even drunk drivers.   

To learn about rules of issuing permissions for beach entertainment activities ForUm addressed Odesa regional state administration. Considering bitter experience we immediately asked whether these questions are within the competence of the department. And what a miracle, we received the first affirmative answer, though later we were redirected to Odesa regional department of the State inspection for sea and river transport. "The inspection carries out raids and files protocols on administrative violation in case entrepreneurs do not have permissive documents for beach entertainment activity. For the moment this is the only way to fight offenders." As for other issues, we were recommended to address local self-government. 

Seeing the situation ForUm continuers searching for answers, but such questions as who controls licenses, who is responsible for safety of holiday-makers and where to go in case of injury during a water ride, remain open.

Sea reality

While state departments decide on responsible for safety, water rides service hundreds of people daily. Following the emotions hardly anyone pays attention to such details as tiers, size of a life vest or boat speed. However, ignoring these details may result into irreparable injury.

Thus, a beachgoer Oksana told ForUm that once she had to wear an oversized life vest, and after the turnover of the water ride she resurfaced with the vest on the head. In her turn, Olga, told us that it is impossible to get ready for the overturn, because it always happens unexpectedly. "Once I fell head down and hit the head pretty badly. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, but I suffered strong headache for quite a while."

Such stories are pretty common. Moreover, instructors of water rides do not even care whether you can swim or not. "I cannot swim, but when we were getting on "banana" nobody asked. When the attraction overturned I fell in the water like everybody else. Fortunately, the life vest did its job and I resurfaced without any problems, though I could not climb the ride again, because the driver seemed uninterested in the process and did not control the ride," another extreme adventurer Tetyna told ForUm.

Certainly, people should think with their own head whether to risk life for a five-minute adrenaline rush, but businessmen, at the same time, should care not only about profits, but also about safety of those people who actually bring this profit, especially when such water rides are pretty costly affair.

Tetyana Matsur


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