Greece: still a great place to kitesurf

Hellenic Coast Guard revised its recent decision about the use of kitesurf as a recreation activity into Greek waters.

The new revised decision (a part of it has been attached) is now logical, functional and gives kitesurfing the freedom that deserves in line with international human rights and international sea law.

It is expected from the worldwide kite community to respect the new decision and fully support the implementation of it. All kiters visiting Greece for kitesurf should be aware of the new legal frame.

Greece is a very popular country for summer holidays. You must always give priority and respect the swimmers – sun bathers and follow the local rules of the spots you visit.

The international petition has been suspended since the Hellenic Coast Guard Authorities fulfilled the overall proposals.

A. General Terms And Conditions

1. Kitesurfing Area Requirements:
a. KS area must not have islets, reefs, fishing nets or other obstacles.
b. KS area must be away from airports and especially from landing – taking off flight paths. Civil Aviation Authority shall take all the needed actions if needed solving local conflicts.
c. KS area must be at list 1 nautical mile away from ports, marinas and fishing shelters. This distance may be reduced to 500 meters because of the specificity of the Greek coast with a decision of the local authorities.

2. During KS the following equipment must be available:
a. Helmet
b. Hardness with hook
c. Appropriate knife for cutting flying lines in an emergency
d. Impact Vest
e. Quick release system
f. Lease system
g. Wetsuit (for the period 15 of October until 15 of May)

3. User's responsibility is to secure the kite on the beach and have the lines on the bar when not kitesurfing.

B. General Prohibitions

Kitesurf is prohibited:

1. If User is under 16 years old or he doesn’t know swimming. By exception, younger people may kitesurf after consent of the guardians, stating also that the child is able to swim.
2. Within crowded beaches.
3. Before sunrise and after sunset.
4. Closer than 200 meters of rocks, islets, reefs, anchored ships, buoys indicating underwater activities or fishing nets.
5. Within ports, marinas and fishing shelters.
6. When adverse weather conditions prevailing at the risk of lightning.
7. Beyond 1nm of the beach.
8. Under the influence of alcohol or toxic.
9. When Wind direction is offshore and there is no motor sea vessel standing by in case of an emergency.
10. When Wind Speed is above 8 Beaufort and there is no qualified rescuer with motor sea vessel standing by in case of an emergency.
11. Closer than 200 meters of swimmers/sunbathers.

C. Special Requirements For Owners

1. Kite take-off will take place only when there are no physical or other obstacles within 100 meters around the user during this procedure.
2. Kitesurfers are not allowed to get closer than 200 meters to floating buoys that indicate limits of swimming areas.

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