Cedar Point's Shoot The Rapids rolls back off lift, one rider transported to hospital

Posted Friday, July 19, 2013 10:53 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Seven riders were injured today on Shoot the Rapids at Cedar Point after a boat rolled back down a lift hill. The riders were treated at the park's first aid center. Six were released, but one was transported to Firelands Regional Medical Center for further evaluation, and later released.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:46 PM
LostKause's avatar

sirloindude said:

...there are some things that genuinely shouldn't fail. ...It's a roll back down a lift hill, the prevention of which was developed generations ago.

...I'm just saying that this ride has experienced blunders that were pretty much without excuse in the past... this was probably something that should have been easily preventable.

Shoot the Rapids is a great example of the phrase, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." Did Intamin not own or have access to the patents for lift hill technology? Lift hills are used in a large part of rides that follow a path and have a track. What about anti-rollback technology? This is a must for any roller coaster or water ride. It just seems that Intamin should get an old technology that works without failure on virtually every other tracked ride in the world right at this point.

Are they trying to redesign something that already works? Is that the problem with the failures that this ride has encountered? They couldn't get the new water ride at Holiday World to splash at the end of the drop. They couldn't get Shoot the Rapids boats to drain properly on the lift like their other water rides. They can't figure out how to design a water channel to push a boat trough at a decent speed. Is it time for Intamin to give up building water rides?

Saturday, July 20, 2013 1:25 PM

Wonder what role the restraints played in all of this. Can't be good in a flipping type situation after the fact, but might have been good for the actual flipping? Having a hard time picturing this one. Also is pretty remarkable image of people rushing to help

Really was not too impressed with the ride itself. The Intamin debate is as simple as this for me, if I was building, would I believe that they could deliver on what they were selling. Nope.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 3:13 PM

I was there yesterday and I did ride STR 3 hours prior to this accident. The one thing I notice while riding was a hard jolt or bump when the boat engaged to first lift hill. Because of that, the whole way up that lift I was thinking how bad it would be if a boat miss aligned with the track. And for what ever reason I had a bad feeling about that first lift.

I don't recall feeling that jolt the last time I ridden STR a month or so ago and there was no jolt when engaging the second lift hill. However yesterday was only my third time riding it and not sure if that jolt is 'normal' or not.

I walked by STR shortly after this accident, they had just roped off the area, they had a blue tarp covering something(most likely the boat), and there was two men, one sitting, one standing near the top of the first lift hill looking down at something.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 3:30 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Great. Another broken Cedar Point ride. I am very glad that nobody was seriously injured. It does prove that Cedar Point's ride workers are paying attention to safety. I have been at other parks where the ride ops, sit and read a book, or strap on their Ipod, and listen to tunes while a ride operates. So, glad to see that they were at least quick, in avoiding a worse disaster. So, I'm guessing I can expect it to be closed when I go to the park next week. But, no big loss I guess. Didn't want to get soaked anyways.

I am still kind of baffled on why Cedar point invested in this ride to begin with, when they already had Snake River Falls, which isn't far from being the same type of ride. The only thing I can think of, is that they wanted to attempt to 1-up Holiday World, by having a ride with 2 drops, instead of one. Though I think Pilgrim's Plunge is a cooler ride, with that elevator lift, and it obviously has a bigger drop. But wouldn't want to be stuck on that either.

As for the ride that was replaced by Maverick. I really liked White Water landing. It was a long ride, and was one of the best flumes around. It also had pretty good capacity, with that circular loading platform. So, why they tore it down, just to build another flume ride later, has me stumped. The land that Shoot The Rapids sits on, would have been the perfect spot to build a B&M Flyer or Dive coaster. Oh well.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Saturday, July 20, 2013 3:32 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013 3:42 PM
OhioStater's avatar

The only bright side I see to this situation is that it makes a perfect excuse for gutting this ride from the lineup and starting over. Like LostKause eluded to above, how a simple flume-ride can be implemented so poorly in the time we live in is beyond me.

But, I'm unfortunately confident that much like Disaster Transport, this ride will sit where it is for years and years. At least it's prettier to look at. In that regard, I guess it has more in common with Mean Streak.

My uneducated (compared to the likes of RideMan) idea was that the boat failed to catch the lift properly from the beginning...if that's even possible.

Last edited by OhioStater, Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:06 PM
Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:14 PM


When Cedar Point built Shoot the Rapids, I think they were trying to fill the void left when they took out White Water Landing. They needed a medium thrill level water ride, that the family can ride together, and doesn't get you soaked. What Cedar Point got missed the mark on all three of those points.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:49 PM

Tyler Boes said:

Also, don't you think that CP wants to make a run at Magic Mountain for most coasters?

Of course they do, that's why they built the log flume thingy ride in the first place.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:12 PM

^Shoot the Rapids isn't a coaster.

Last edited by Tyler Boes, Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:12 PM
Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:29 PM

Yeah Justin, that post wasn't directed at you. I was just quoting you for a humorous transition to my post defending Intamin.

I know you wouldn't consider Intamin rides unsafe because of this incident. But, I read several threads on various coaster websites last night, trying to figure out what happened. Not surprisingly, I was seeing plenty of responses like "This will make me think twice about riding any Intamin ride again." Then the deaths and major incidents would be discussed vs B&M's perfect safety record, and it all seemed a little ridiculous to me. In the big picture, an incident of this caliber for Intamin is even extremely rare.

Additionally, considering the outcome, it seems like the Sandusky Register grossly exaggerated what happened. The story was shocking to read...a boat fell off StR's lift, flipped over, riders were submerged under water for several minutes, and a woman was taken to the hospital for serious head injuries. It was horrifying to read. As more details emerge, it sounds like the boat rolled down the lift at some point, and it wasn't designed to take that first turn at speed, so it jumped out of the flume on its side. It's a major incident considering how safe the amusement industry is, but it was still free of any injuries. It'll be interesting to hear more details.

Lastly, it's easy to blast Intamin's engineers for screwing up such a simple ride, but none of us know all the details. These boats appear to be heavy with the restraints, so maybe your classic belt lift wouldn't be able to sustain the load. Maybe Cedar Point wanted a maintenance-free alternative, and this is what Intamin came up with. It appears to be a simple coaster lift with roll backs, but isn't this the first one with amphibious boats that need to connect to steel tubular track from a float?

Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:36 PM

I will be very curious to hear the accident report of what occurred here. Most importantly the accident occurred where the people in line could get to the boat. I also wondered about the restraints and an accident like this, but of course didn't think it could happen. I was wrong.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:02 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Jeph said:

It appears to be a simple coaster lift with roll backs, but isn't this the first one with amphibious boats that need to connect to steel tubular track from a float?

I'm pretty sure that the boat does not "connect" to the tubular steel track. At least not in the way that a traditional steel coaster would, with 3 set of wheels on 3 sides. It merely rides on top of it. You can see in the video that the part the wheels ride on has metal attached to both sides. The I-beam looking piece in the middle and the cover over the lift chain appear to be what prevents the boat from lifting.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:23 PM

True...and I don't think that has been done before. StR has been a mess, but it'd appear to me that Intamin was custom-designing this to some requirements / desires that Cedar Point had. If Cedar Point wanted another reliable fiberglass-trough, belt-lift flume, I bet they could have had one. They took a gamble with this design (that even looked dull in sketches / animation), and it didn't pay off.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:27 PM
LostKause's avatar

Fans of White Water Landing wanted a log flume as a suitable replacement, not a water ride similar to Snake River Falls. They messed up just by removing the log flume in the first place, and it was all downhill from there.

Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:29 AM

What I don't understand about the accident (and the stories) is the part about the people in line helping those who were injured. Granted, I have not been to Cedar Point since this ride went in, but as I look at an aerial view, it seems as if the lift hill is almost exactly opposite the entrance, and anyone rendering aid would have had to cross the railroad tracks and a fence to get there. But maybe there is something else I am missing.

Sunday, July 21, 2013 1:13 AM

I don't believe they were in line, but rather onlookers standing on the platform that runs parallel to the train tracks, near where the lift hill begins. From there guests can fire the water cannons at the boats as they float by. So they'd only be jumping over one railing and running across the train tracks to offer assistance. At least that's how I interpreted it.

Michael McCormack

Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:49 PM

I'm glad no one was badly hurt. Any water attraction where restraints are not rider controlled scare me. I'm just speculating here, but if I remember correctly Intamin anti-roll back devices are magnetic controlled to keep quiet, as long as the vehicle is moving the anti-roll back dog is held up where it doesn't contact the track. I could only imagine that there was a problem with that device since the vehicle came back down the hill.

The Blog

Sunday, July 21, 2013 1:51 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I'd much rather have Macerick than the log flume. That wasn't a mistake. The mistake was going with Intamin for a replacement.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Sunday, July 21, 2013 1:52 PM

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Sunday, July 21, 2013 2:05 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Tekwardo said:

I'd much rather have Macerick than the log flume.

Or Maverick.

Sunday, July 21, 2013 3:45 PM
rollergator's avatar

Wondering how badly this would have turned out if other guests hadn't jumped in to help...

Also wondering how come there isn't a redundancy built in to prevent boats from sliding backwards down the lift hill...

Sunday, July 21, 2013 4:04 PM

There are anti-rollbacks on the lift hills. It seems that the car did not engaged the lift hill from the water correctly.


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