UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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BULBOUS
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Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:37 am

Big Shot on the Stratosphere is scary. It makes a horrible clunk as you reach the top, very unnerving!

Although the scariest of the three rides on top of the stratosphere is the see saw one. You hang quite well off the edge of the tower, and about the third time, you feel like you're actually dropping after it's stopped, because it goes further down on that time. I screamed quite a bit. :P

The other one's a bit crap, TBH - the thrill's over before the ride starts to spin.
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Dreamworld Incident

Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:32 am

Horrible reports of 4 deaths today on the rapids at Dreamworld in Queensland. Thoughts with those affected :(
 
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Re: Dreamworld Incident

Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:49 am

You would have thought river rapid rides were one of the safer rides at a theme park.

Could this accident have happened at Alton towers on the river rapids? River Rapids does seem to have a less steep conveyer belt though.
 
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NemesisRider
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Re: Dreamworld Incident

Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:54 am

Current reporting suggests 2 men and 2 women between the ages of 32-40 are dead. Dreamworld and their CEO have offered their condolences to those affected.

My heart goes out to those affected, never good when this happens :(
 
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Re: Dreamworld Incident

Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:59 pm

as ever the news articles provide very little facts about what happened, but its surprising for such a normal ride, that is in nearly every theme park world wide
 
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Re: Dreamworld Incident

Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:28 pm

A couple of AAP photos have been posted on the Coasterforce forums that show the tipped over boat http://www.coasterforce.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=975978#p975978. There's also reference to a practice of queuing boats in embarkation area.

My own speculation is that, for whatever reason, the boat on the conveyor belt ran into the next boat in the embarkation area and rode up it. That tipped the boat enough that the rubber air-chamber got caught in the large gaps in the belt and levered over. That would explain how two of guests were ejected from the boat as it would have been flipped over very quickly.
 
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Justin
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:32 pm

I've been following this all day; however, my thoughts are with the family!
Such a tragedy! :(
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:51 pm

BBC News are reporting that Dreamworld will reopen on Friday. They still managed to end the article by talking about The Smiler ](*,)

Such a terrible occurance, thoughts with the family.
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Dan
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:29 am

Following last months tragic accident on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld, the parks owners have announced that the ride is to be demolished "out of respect for the memories of the victims and their families"
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:08 pm

whilst I do hope the hundred other version of this ride are looked at, to prevent a similar accident happening, I hope it does not end up in any of them closing. What has to happen with this one, is different because people died, but the rest should go on.
 
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:47 pm

wamdue wrote:
whilst I do hope the hundred other version of this ride are looked at, to prevent a similar accident happening, I hope it does not end up in any of them closing. What has to happen with this one, is different because people died, but the rest should go on.

This particular rapids ride appears to have manufactured in-house, unlike almost all other rapids at major parks (which are mostly manufactured by Intamin). As such, there are noticeable differences between this and installations of similar rides across the world, making it doubtful that anything major will have to happen to any others.
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:09 pm

It has been confirmed by Ardent Leisure, the operators of the park, that Thunder River Rapids will be dismantled after the devastating incident last year. I think this is the correct move by the park and although it is sad to see a water ride go from the world, it needed to go.
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:11 am

SBS News in Australia are reporting that work has commenced on demolishing Thunder River Rapids, after the fatal accident in October 2016.

In what may be seen as good news for the park, a year-long Queensland Police investigation recommended no one face criminal charges over the accident, with a coronial inquest still expected to be held later this year.
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:25 am

I think this is a wise move as the ride will always be associated with the tragedy. Although it is very sad that it happened, I think the memorial is a nice touch. Hopefully they'll add a garden or something on the site of the actual fatality.
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:11 pm

The inquest into the deaths of the 4 people killed on Thunder River Rapids is currently underway, and some of the revelations that have come out as a result of the investigation are some of the most shocking acts of negligence most of us will ever wish to read:

-The ride's pumps had failed twice the same day.

-Unqualified personnel were forced to reset the pumps due to lack of staff.

-There was no indicator of when the water was too low, as Dreamworld didn't want to buy a bucket of paint to draw the line of "minimum water height" that would have altered staff that a pump had failed as the water was too low.

-Maintenance was $125,000 over budget, so Ardent Leisure (owners of the park) had a 100% complete shut off of maintenance funds.

-The park needed to have 6 safety managers, but due to cost cutting, only one was hired.

-Due to wanting to reduce maintenance, when a board broke on the conveyors belt, it was never replaced, they only ever fixed every 3rd board.

-While most rapids rides have approx. 6-7 employees operating the attraction, Dreamworld had 2 to cut cost (against the ride maker's discretion).

-The unload operator was responsible for completing 36-38 tasks per minute, making it impossible to fully make sure that no corners were cut in performing all of them.

-The unload employee had received little to no training, and did not know what the big red button did (the emergency stop button).

-The unload employee was supposedly told what the button did, which she and others deny, however, she had never pushed it and didn't truly know what its functions were.

-The load station employee was in the middle of checking restraints when the employee shouted to stop the ride, leading for a massive delay as he jumped out of the boat, sprinted across the platform, and got his key into the loading panel to activate it.

-The wiring was a "rat's nest" according to an electrician, meaning when he pushed the emergency stop, the circuit essentially fried and did nothing, so he had to push the slow stop button, which took almost 8 seconds to stop the ride (while this may sound quick, imagine people are being crushed under a conveyor in front of your eyes, intense screaming, blood pouring out, and knowing people are dying in front of your eyes and you can't do anything to stop it. Now count to 8 Mississippi's in your head).

-Once the two employees got the ride to stop, they attempted to save the victims, however, they had never received any first aid training, so they provided little services except calling for actual help, and holding the mangled bodies that floated out, hoping that if they were alive, they wouldn't be feeling any pain.

-Medical experts assume the riders died almost instantly from being thrown and crushed, however, they did say that there was a high probability that they were in intense pain as they were crushed under the conveyor.

-The raft next in line when the accident occurred contained the father and child of the lady riding in the flipped raft, and they were forced to sit there for an hour while they pulled the girl's mother from the water.

-The park had limited medical staff, with little to no medical training, meaning that even if the riders had had a chance of making it, they probably wouldn't have due to a several minute delay in medical care.

-The reason this collision happened is the first boat bottomed out and the second boat collided and rolled up and over as the conveyor belt moved, this wouldn't have happened had the water level been at an acceptable height.

-Management cut the safety manual, that hadn't been updated in over 6 years, portion regarding the flipped rafts so they wouldn't appear in non-compliance for failing to train their employees on how to deal with it.

-Thunder rapids employees were supposedly trained that they never had permission to push an emergency stop button unless the safety manager okay-d it, and although Ardent has denied this, several employees confirmed that claim.

-The acceptable water level line was explained, per trainers, as a scum line, and "If it drops below that, you keep the paying guests moving through that line, maintenance will show up and reset the pumps." Yes, they're resetting the attraction while guests were on it, yes, you read that correctly.

-The park had a policy stating that if a ride had a mechanical failure, you were to reboot it twice, and if it happened again, shut down the ride for the day, the raft flip was the 3rd mechanical failure that day.

-Only 2 of the 14 people on Dreamworld's board had any sort of safety training at any time.

-Despite repeated notifications, the park never installed live-feed cameras throughout the attraction, so if this accident had happened anywhere else in the attraction, they wouldn't have known until the raft got back to the station.

-If live-feed cameras were there, there was a chance that in the 57 seconds between the raft bottoming out and the collision that security would have contacted the operator and stopped the attraction in time.

-The poor ride op had received under 40 minutes of training in the morning, and then was enjoying her first ever shift alone.

-The control panel was so outdated and so poorly wired that the e-stop wouldn't have worked without the key activating the panel where the e-stop was. This was because they modified the loading a couple years after it opened from a turntable loading system, to a 2 raft, straight lane loading system, and instead of hiring a reputable electrician, they hired a cheap one.

-The ride had a massive pileup and overturn during original testing time, so they put that in the safety pamphlet, then in 2012, they realized that they never trained any of their employees on how to deal with such a situation, so rather than have important information in the book and receive large fines for never training them on it, they simply cut it out (if it's not in the pamphlet, we can't be held liable for employees not knowing how to handle it).

-The manual would have told the girl to hit her e-stop button, but since it wasn't in there and she was told essentially "this is a big red button, don't push until someone higher ranking than you tells you to," she didn't push it.

-The employee was supposedly assisting a guest into their wheelchair when the tilt started, she turns back, sees the ride flipping and tries to figure out what to do. She makes a split second decision to ditch the "call maintenance and wait for approval to stop the ride" protocol, yells at the "senior" ride operator, he sees that a raft has flipped over and another one's about to hit it, sprints across the platform and stops the ride. While Ardent claims they trained her to always push in an emergency and that it was the e-stop, she and several others who worked the position before says they were told it would stop the ride, but if something happens, call maintenance supervisor, and if they give you the go-ahead, stop the ride, since they're going to be the ones that have to deal with it if you push it and it's not an emergency.


Source: CoasterForce via Reddit
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Robert.W
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:19 pm

Read this on both TS and Coasterforce yesterday. It is indeed absolutely horrific, must be extremely distressing for all those involved in the accident. The sheer number of failures by the park's management are just sickening to read though, very sad at how bad things were, and that something like this could still have been prevented from happening. Wether lessons have been learned or not, I frankly don't think the operator's should still be running this park – or any other park for that matter – and yet in another article I'd read, they were actually boasting about how their share price was still strong despite the findings against them. :(
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:32 pm

Wow. I’m not sure there’s any words to cover how shocking that is.

The company has already replaced its CEO (with a generous payout) and is in the process of recruiting a new park manager, but I don’t think that goes far enough given the findings. Something like that is deeply rooted into a companies operating culture and will take a lot to change!
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:47 pm

It is truly shocking and extremely upsetting to hear about a park which has neglected the most basic health and safety requirements. I wouldn't visit now knowing this, as what it to say that their other rides and attractions are safe?
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:23 pm

As others have said, it's really shocking to read and awful that a park could neglect all the safety requirements.  As someone who's visited the park (albeit quite a long time ago), it's also sad as when I went there, I had a good time and even went back a second day. 

Perhaps given the findings, maybe it's time a new company bought the place and make the improvements it really needs?
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abigsmurf
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Re: Dreamworld Australia

Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:33 pm

Jesus Christ, reading through the list of findings is disturbing. Almost every single point is unforgivable just in isolation.

Staff genuinely thought they had to phone someone up for an emergency stop (which didn't even work) and you had to use a key instead of a big red button, shocking levels of training. The ride was operating at a dangerous water level (and it was advised to run it like that), the conveyor belt was in an appauling state...

There has to be some jail time involved and the payouts should be enough to ruin the park. 

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