Busch Gardens Tampa closes river rapids ride after fatal accident in Australia

Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:24 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Busch Gardens closed the Congo River Rapids ride Tuesday after four people were killed on a similar ride in Australia. Two men and two women were killed after the river rapids ride malfunctioned at a popular theme park on Australia’s east coast, officials said.

Read more from WFLA/Tampa.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:39 AM

Seems like a bit of overkill considering they're made by different companies...

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 9:02 AM

However, that raft ride has the same ending (lift followed by linear station.). The only other raft rides still running in the country I believe are either turntable stations (AK, DCA, IOA, KBF, SWSA, SWSD, BGW) or have their lifts at the start of the ride with linear stations (SDC, Dollywood.)

I think that is why the sea parks only closed one of their four raft rides.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 10:10 AM

White Water Canyon at Kings Dominion also has a linear station.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 10:15 AM

Is that still running? I thought KD used part of the raft ride as a haunt this time of year.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 2:54 PM

The ride is still listed on their website. Not sure about the haunt, but I assume it's possible to use part of it as a haunt and still operate the ride during the regular season.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 3:01 PM

I was trying to point out that since it's late October, there is not many parks currently operating their raft rides due to weather and that was probably the only reason that BGT was the only ride to close. The other parks can wait until the investigation is finished to decide if they need to close or modify their rides. Sorry for the confusion.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 4:27 PM

Gotcha. I misinterpreted "still running" as "still exists," not "still operating this season."

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 6:19 PM

Dreamworld's ride has a turntable station.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 7:23 PM

No, it doesn't. It had one at one time but it was changed to a straight load due to safety concerns. Whatever that means.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016 9:41 PM

I see. It looks like an odd hybrid of the usual in-line and turntable stations. The rafts on the Dreamworld ride appear to float in the station. Normally, the in-line ones have conveyors in the station that either take the rafts completely out of the water or out of the water enough that they are sitting on the conveyors rather than floating. Rafts on BGT's ride go directly from the lift to the station without touching the water, so there is no way for the raft to capsize at that part of the ride.

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Friday, October 28, 2016 6:45 PM

It seems to me that, as a general category, raft rides are about the most dangerous attractions at a park.

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