Paragliding is one of the most popular Cape Town outdoor activities, but many are now becoming concerned for the safety of those who partake in the sport. In recent weeks, paragliders have found themselves in dangerous situations, landing in questionable areas. One was found hanging off the side of a building while another landed in Main Road, Sea Point.
As reported by IOL, new Google Maps data revealed that one of Cape Town’s top tourist attractions is Parapax Paragliding Cape Town.
According to Kev Storie, Chief Flight Instructor of the SA Hand Gliding and Paragliding Association, the sport is picking up in popularity. This can be attributed to the increasing number of international tourists with licenses to paraglide, but these paragliders are often not yet familiar with the local terrain when they partake in the activity while in the Mother City.
Storie also added that the unpredictability of Cape Town’s wind must be kept in mind when paragliders want to make an emergency landing. He also alleged that while there have been approximately eight such incidents, the accident rate remains low.
“Because there has been an upturn (in numbers paragliding) we are looking at instituting a system at the Hill, especially for non-regulars,” he said. “Incidents are very rare. It’s not been identified as a problem, considering the number of flights a day, but we’d like to be proactive and go for zero issues or incidents.”
While the number of incidents are less than with most sports, many are concerned inexperienced paragliders are not only endangering themselves but also others as they take to the skies.