The case of the two dead pilots - instructor and student, who fell by airplane on June 29 in Egio, is a statistical exception. Though it sounds absurd after the tragedy, people dealing with air sports insist that things are not so scary up there... “It is most important both the student and experienced pilot not to overestimate their abilities - their personal, but also of the resources available. That’s why there are different categories when you take a diploma - basic, advanced, etc.” said Antonis Papadopoulos, who is a member of the Hellenic Federation of Air Sports for Ta Nea newspaper.
This year a 28-year-old paratrooper lost his life on 13 June in Crete. “The main parachute was to open 150 m or not later than 70 m from the ground to a rescue. Before that, however, must have been produced and maintained according to the requirements” said Yiannis Maraiantopoulos. There are three main safety principles when flying, according to him. The most important thing is to check the weather and wind direction in the area where you will fly. The wind is good to be around 25 km/h and can be measured with instruments in place. You must notify yor relatives and the rest of the colleagues from the club where and when you will fly.
The 43-year-old Nikos Mavris has been dealing for over 12 years with another extreme sport – canoe kayaking, and knows the rivers in Greece. He said the most important thing is to have good equipment. “I always take care to have extra supplies in case I leg behind somewhere around the river, and first aid kit, extra oars and wireless phone. Thereafter, it is important not to go canoe kanyaking alone, but always with two or three people of basic knowledge. But, whatever happens, you should not take yourself seriously and get into the river during heavy rain or when the river is filled.” It is mandatory to go to a training course in any of the schools at the places of canoeing, Nikos stressed. “Especially when you go rafting all must be equipped with helmets and life vests, and routes have to be organized by companies for alternative tourism, which have special boats and experienced guides. In winter, you must wear special rafting suit. The number of tragedies in Greece you can count on your finger-tips but they were always caused because these rules were not complied,” added he.
Seabed also hides its dangers for which scuba divers have to be well prepared. The 34-year-old George Vandoros knows underwater secrets well. He has been diving in caves and shipwrecks for years and warns that the seabed can become a trap. George dives with scuba diving equipment at depths greater than 40 meters and says that “the deeper you are, and the greater the distance from the surface, the greater the risk to fail to come to the surface.” The main risk to the diver is the inability to cope with the equipment and make the wrong choice, says George. Most tragedies occur when someone learns from the Internet how to dive, without going to a training course. It is important for divers to gain experience gradually in order to be safe - they should be trained to do a pre-dive program with exact stay underwater, how many meters will dive, to be focused and to realize their own capabilities.
Professionals insist that it is necessary to go to a training course before starting to practice any extreme water, mountain or air sport. And always follow the rules. “Something can go wrong always. You can come across a landslide, snow-slip, weather can suddenly change, but you must be trained to know what to do. You have to know the danger, because something can always happen,” says Panagiotis Kotronaros – climbing instructor and mountain guide. “You shouldn’t go to the mountain without taking precautions and the necessary equipment. You are not allowed to overestimate yourself when climbing” he stresses and adds “We do not go for the adrenaline, but to get closer to nature. Not to make brave men, because we know that nature can not be defeated. We do not go against her, but together with it.”