Intamin says woman was too large for Perilous Plunge

Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2001 7:12 AM | Contributed by Brian Grapes

The Orange County Register is reporting that the manufacturer of Perilous Plunge said the woman who died recently on the attraction was too big for the seat belt to close properly. "If a person is too big, (the restraint system) cannot close properly," said Sandor Kernacs, president of ride manufacturer Intamin AG.

Read more from The Orange County Register.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 7:38 AM
Okay... perhaps she was "too big" to ride.

However... if a person is too big, the restraints should not be able to close at all, not "not close properly". Also, if the restraints are not closed properly or are not being properly used, it is the ride crew who should be the ones to catch this and either correct it or inform the person that they will not be allowed to ride.

No matter how much we may love these rides, we still should try to look at things objectively. The only thing that the individual rider did was board the ride and close the restraints. The restraints did close (though not properly) and the ride crew did not catch that they were not closed properly or were not being properly used. IN this case I would say it is a design flaw in combination with negligence (unintentional) on the part of the ride crew.

The assumption is... if you get into a ride and the restraints close and the ride crew does not correct them, the rider has reason to assume that they are safe.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 8:03 AM
Ultimately people feel the need to lay the blame somewhere, but this is one of those things that just should not have happened. There are signs everywhere in all parks stating that if you are too large, you may not ride. On the other hand, this woman may have been in denial and just didn't realize how "large" she was. Someone should have said something to her, but perhaps didn't want to risk embarrasing her. The bottom line is, if the restraints didn't fit, she shouldn't have been riding.

This is one of those situations where "everyone" failed.

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What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary. -The Talmud *** This post was edited by DWeaver on 10/23/2001. ***

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 8:07 AM
Along with the discrimination and ridicule obese people can face at amusement parks, now there's a chance they could die because of their weight. Many of the rides I've been on this summer do have warnings about excessive chest measurements, but, will they have to add waist measurements to the signs?
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 8:25 AM
Pretty soon we will be setting height records with the size of the warning signs at the front of the ride.  Everybody got on Cedar Point's case about the new, bland signs but it is apparent that in today's society, they are necessary.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 9:09 AM
I've always felt that those seatbelts had the most Godawful latching devices.  I've been on loads of different coasters and rides with seatbelts and these were the most annoying to lock and unlock that I've ever seen, and I'm sure the GP has plenty of confusion in locking them.  If they were using the standard ones that you find on Ghostrider and half the other rides at Knotts this may not have happened.

-Ride_Op

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Visit my old Ultra Coaster page: www.geocities.com/ride_op

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 9:12 AM
CPLady's avatar Funny, no one complains when someone is too SMALL to get on a ride. So why is it considered "discrimination" if someone is too LARGE for a ride? It's a safety issue, plain and simple. Ride ops are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they tell someone he or she is too large to safely ride, they are ridiculed and accused of discrimination. If they don't, and someone is hurt or killed, they are blamed.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 10:48 AM
It's surprising that the ride ops didn't notice something like this.  I've never been on Perlous, so I don't know exactly what the restraint system is like, but I have been on many rides.  And I've been kicked off many rides.  I used to powerlift, and at my largest, I had a 64 inch chest and 38 inch waist.  Ride ops would push restraints into me as hard as they could.  Sometimes they'd lock, but when the op tryed to start the ride, the computer would show that my restraint wasn't locked.  So, they'd have to unlock everyone and I'd get an around of applause as I got off.  Personally, it never bothered me.  I'd rather be alive, than go flying out of a Huss Top Spin.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 11:31 AM
I still want to know if the restraint system is necessary on the ride. That is an issue that has not been addressed at all in the media, because it gets to the question of rider behavior.

Okay, so this person had a 58" waist. Was she not able to pull the lap bar down at all? Were her legs so short that the bar wouldn't extend over her thighs? That's where the real restraint should be happening; the seat belt shouldn't be necessary at all except as a measuring device!

And what's this nonsense about putting the seat belt under her abdomen instead of around it? Except on bumper cars, a lap belt should NEVER go around a rider's abdomen or waist, it should ALWAYS go over the hips and thighs. Put it around your abdomen and first of all, you'll slide right out, and second, in the event of an incident that requires restraint, you'll suffer internal injuries. After all, why do you think it is called a LAP belt?!

--Dave Althoff, Jr

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 11:35 AM
Ride_Op

Her seatbelt was fastened securely when the boat returned to the station.  It wouldn't have made a difference whether it used "standard" or "Intamin" style seatbelts.

-Seth

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 11:37 AM
I know this is not what every coaster rider wants to here but, to prevent such incidents of people falling out of rides it looks like we need to put over the shoulder restraints on every ride it seems with a lap restraint and a seat belt three restraints should be the way it should be. i mean think about it. yes i know it sucks to have all those restraints expecially the OTS restraings but it looks like we are gona need them to prevent such incidents. Also for the bigger folk, they should have extensions for the seat belts. Because im a bit over weight myself and i fit on most the rides. but a few like Batman at SFMM i barely fit. yes i could try to lose weight so i can fit in better, but i fit perfectly in the seat and the OTS restaint clicks down enough to fit me in but the problems is with the belt that latches from the seat to the OTS
restraint. i have to suck in my gut and let out all my breath to click it in. I say for that ride they sould have some sort of extention on it so people like me can ride too. What i am saying here is maybe try to find some way to fit the big folks too on the ride safely also. ive been out in the world there are a lot of big people out there and i say try to find a way to fit them too comfortably and safely. it can be done.

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elevated track in the sky is the only way to fly.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 11:39 AM
Mamoosh's avatar RideMan says:  "I still want to know if the restraint system is necessary on the ride. That is an issue that has not been addressed at all in the media, because it gets to the question of rider behavior."

Dave, as someone who has ridden PP many times and who prefers the back row for its major, ejector air [and no, that is NOT a pun] I can tell you that both the lap bar and seat belt are indeed needed.  Heck even with both I'm still scared sh--sh--to death when I'm just about to go over that drop.

Matthew
*** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 10/23/2001. ***

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 11:57 AM
I definitely agree that the ride restraints should be extendable. My boyfriend has a larger chest from weight lifting and he had some troubles getting in to certain rides because of his chest. It was embarrassing to him not to be able to ride simply because he likes to lift weights and be healthy.

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There is NoLimit when it comes to Roller Coasters

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:10 PM
On Intamin rides such as MF and S:ROS you have a lot of control over the setting on a restraint, and you better strap it down prettty tight.  In my experience it seems that a loose setting combined with an overweight rider is not a desirable combination.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:13 PM



Rideman said (about belts)

ALWAYS go over the hips and thighs. Put it around your abdomen and first of all, you'll slide right out, and second, in the event of an incident that requires restraint, you'll suffer internal injuries. After all, why do you think it is called a LAP belt?!



Ever since I saw this accident I have tried this with Millennium Force. I noticed If I pull the belt up from my lap onto my abdoman/stomach right before a spot of airtime it is a lot easier to slide up and out of the seat (of course I don't go anywhere:))

This is what intrigues me( from the article)
Intamin said the water coaster's seat belts only extend about 50 inches around. However, Falfas said the seat belt could extend to 65 inches.

Sounds kind of contradicted don't you think? 15 inches is quite a difference! I always though the belt was to keep people who are large in that area off the ride so that bar (somewhat flawed IMO) will touch their legs instead of their crotch/abdoman. Unfortunately that did not happen.

I think that the belt should NOT be the primary restraint and should act only as a device to gauge whether or not the restrain will function properly. That is my theory after the large man fell out of SROS since the restraint were not changed and just belts were added.

 
 

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Save Cheese on a stick!


*** This post was edited by Joe E. on 10/23/2001. ***
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:14 PM
Why are there no extensions? Capacity and if the seat bealts don't latch because a harness doesn't come down far enough(like on batman), that means that the manufacturer doesn't think you are being adaquately restrained.  Adding a seatbelt extension would make the restraint system less effective.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:29 PM
Not to be mean but Jack is a pretty big guy.  I am sure he has ridden the ride and has a handle on how big the seatbelts are.

There is no way to make a ride accessible to every different body shape out there.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:32 PM
That doesn't make sense though. You say we should not have extensions yet on many B&M inverteds and even Oblivion, they have special rows and seats with an extended seat belt. It is two longer belts tthat connect in two slots on the restraint. I have only seen this modification on coasters at non six flags parks though. Rides like Dueling Dragons and Hulk have this modification.
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CoasterFreakMan!
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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:36 PM
What does that tell you? It tells me that Six Flags is being more safe. 

I can tell you we have about the most strict safety procedures at SFGAm that I've seen and I've talked with other workers who have been to many other parks.

For example, ummm...ride op's jumping off a lowering floor platen(like on batman) on a invert at the last moment before the train starts to move.  Now that is extreme, but just an example of how many parks don't have such strict safety guidelines.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:51 PM
BLOCKQUOTE>
P>
HR>
/P>
P>FONT face=Verdana size=2>I know this is not what every coaster rider wants to here but, to prevent such incidents of people falling out of rides it looks like we need to put over the shoulder restraints on every ride it seems with a lap restraint and a seat belt three restraints should be the way it should be./P>
P>
HR>
/P>/BLOCKQUOTE>
P>A different idea... Why does no one use five point harnesses on coasters? You'd need to make them autoadjust, but that is fairly simple... It seems to me that with a reasonably well designed seat and a proper five point (A five point harness goes over your shoulders, across your lap and between your legs) you could make coasters sans OTSRs OR lap bars. It'd probably kill capacity though/P>
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