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New guidelines in place for extreme sport companies

The sports ministry is calling on companies offering extreme sports to follow new guidelines. The ministry said the guidelines set a standard which it expects companies to meet, even though they are not legally binding.

The code regulates group size and guide responsibilities as well as measures to ensure the firms act responsibly with regard to the environment. Companies are being asked to sign a declaration stating their willingness to follow the rules. A list of these firms will be published on the Internet.

The announcement by the ministry comes only days after an American tourist died while bungy jumping in the Bernese Oberland. He hit the ground and died on impact. Police said the organisers, Adventure World, mistakenly attached a rope to his leg which was meant for higher jumps.

Safety in extreme sports was first called into question last summer when a group of tourists, also led by Adventure World, died while canyoning. They were swept away by a flash flood. A criminal investigation is looking into whether the guides failed to heed weather warnings.

In response to the tragedy, companies set up courses for canyoning guides.

swissinfo with agencies