Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Legoland Windsor close their water rides after death at Drayton Manor

Posted Friday, May 12, 2017 9:06 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Water rides at a number of theme parks across Britain have been shut down indefinitely after an 11-year-old girl died when she fell from a “river rapids” ride at Drayton Manor theme park.

Read more from The Guardian.

Friday, May 12, 2017 12:04 PM

Kennywood is noting that Raging Rapids is "unavailable" on their website as well, though it could simply be a coincidence.

This might be the death knell for rapids rides. There's no way to fix this problem -- if a guest chooses to unbuckle their belt and stand up the park can't stop them. It's not like you can install locking lap bars on these rides.

Last edited by PhantomTails, Friday, May 12, 2017 12:24 PM
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Friday, May 12, 2017 12:54 PM
August Mueller's avatar

River rapid and log flume both come to mind as afflicted of this. Even certain ferris wheels and older coaster trains... it's unfortunate as these rides are otherwise safe. KWs Ragging Rapids is no stranger to mishaps. (It's been decades since any incidents though) But if I'm reading the article correctly, it was suggested that Drayton Manor install seat belts? I was under the impression that all the Intamin River rides feature seat belts. That accident last year.. was it in Australia? I haven't followed up but that certainly appeared to be a fatal change of the conveyor system likely per maintenance &/o management.

Time for life jackets and a waver just like real river expeditions.

Last edited by August Mueller, Friday, May 12, 2017 1:06 PM
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Friday, May 12, 2017 1:11 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I feel so bad for the parents. What a horrific way to lose a child.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Friday, May 12, 2017 4:29 PM

If this ride doesn't have seat belts, this may be one of the few cases where the park is at fault.


Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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Friday, May 12, 2017 4:45 PM

A lot of rapids rides in Europe don't have seatbelts.

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Friday, May 12, 2017 5:46 PM

My friends there continuously remind me that people over there have sense. They also wouldn't dream of suing anyone. I don't know how much of that to believe, but I noticed things there seem rather lackadaisical compared to over here.

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Friday, May 12, 2017 7:39 PM

As someone who ran a rapids ride in the past, trust me that seat belts don't do a damn thing. The number of people who take off their belts to avoid getting wet is astonishing.

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Friday, May 12, 2017 10:02 PM

Oh, it's a given. Years ago I had a friend that worked the ride at KI and he said I'd be surprised by the number of guests that went in swimming for whatever reason. The good news is if something like that is detected it doesn't take a minute to stop the water and drain the course. But it has to be caught first and even a minute can mean disaster.

I noticed at Dollywood that there are high towers along the course of their ride where monitors can keep constant watch. Their turnpike ride has several too, which at the time I thought was weirdly excessive, but maybe not. It's another ride where someone could easily make a quick exit from the vehicle if they wanted, and that one is electric driven so even without a driver the cars would keep moving.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:28 AM

There is a good risk management argument for NOT having seat belts on a rapids ride, and there is a reason why if you see me riding one, you might notice that I have a hand on the seat belt buckle...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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