Intamin says woman was too large for Perilous Plunge

Posted | 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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Freak Man, you've actually ridden a 'modified' B&M coaster @ an SF park. Medusa (like all the floorless models) has 'big boy' seats. And SF as a whole is no safer than any other park owner; remember the female op that fell through the floorless floor was @ SFWoA.

Anyway, my only question is, if she pulled down the restraint, and it locked, and fastened the belt and it too was latched, how in the hell was she to know that the restraint was not "close (sic) properly". In the absence of any further evidence, this doesnt look good for Intamin and Cedar Fair.

"Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01

To follow up what jeremy said:

This has been my point all along (besides arguing the case for us fatties). ;) While the woman's weight was an issue (presumably unbeknownst to her), it does not change the fact that one would assume to be safe if both restraints were closed.
"you have to be kidding me, they wouldn't do those unspeakable things. oh, my Jesus, it's worse than you think." - autopsy of the devil's brain

I'm not entirely familiar with the ride operations of this type of ride, but, out of curiosity:  Wouldn't there be some sort of safety mechanism that would prevent the ride from being dispatched if the restraints weren't closed properly?
I don't see why the employee running the coaster didn't realize that it wasn't closed right.
  Back when they opened Batman at SFOT I was waiting in line and a man with a HUGE belly got on( well tried)it took like two of the crew memebers to try to lock down the restaints- they had no luck at all, he had to exit the ride!! He seemed to take it quite well! I am a bit overweight but I try to keep it to where I never get that big so I can't ride, that would just kill me not to be able to ride on the coasters or anything for that matter!!
We do not live in America ~ America lives in us!!
She should have been checked prior to leaving the dock...

besides that, some one help ...

Dave, Wahoo Skipper or some one else who is intelligent help me understand did this happen with the restraints found in the "locked" posistion? If she was TOO big..and the restraints did not lock properly, does that mean she was going through the ride with the restraints in an unlocked posisiton? wouldnt there be a warning some how for the ride ops to know a restriant was not secured?

My experience, when I did ride, was that the restraint "clicked", engaging the lock, and that untill that happened the car never left the station...

some one please explain this to me - I really do not understand how the restraints were in a locked position at the return of the ride ..if they were not locked and secured at departure.. *** This post was edited by BB on 10/23/2001. ***

Assuming the restraints are the same as on the Intamin coasters...
The lap bars are infinitely adjustable, and there is no minimum locking position. The bar can be anywhere between full-open and full-closed. The point is that when the boat returned to the loading platform, the bar was not fully open, and was locked in other words, the locking mechanism did not fail.

It's possible to come out from under a lap bar if you can straighten out your lower body enough to get your knees past the end of the lap bar, and if you have an oversize gut in the way, you can end up with more than enough space under the bar to do just that, if there is no other means for insuring that your legs don't come out from under the bar.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
One thing about these bars they do not "lock" in a sense. The computer dose not care if the bars are up or down, it will dispatch no matter what (at least on Millennium Force). The bar has an infinite position so it can be down one inch or down all the way and it will be locked and not go up anymore. Unlike a B&M, there is no null zone where the bar will not lock.

I believe S&S towers have sensor a which says if the restraint is down enough on the person. If it is not down enough it will not dispatch regardless of the fact they too have infinite positions.

edit 4 minutes to late!
Save Cheese on a stick! *** This post was edited by Joe E. on 10/23/2001. ***

Sorry, Joe! :)

I think Cedar Point's S&S tower has a sensor to detect whether the restraints are down some minimum amount, but it wasn't like that when the ride opened. :)

On the Intamin coasters, there isn't even any means to detect that the bars are locked (let alone actually closed) because the bars unlock electrically in the station. Once the train leaves the station, there is no power available to the train, therefore the bars are known to be no need for the control system to check.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
I figured as much. One time the restraint on Power Tower was up a bit too much and some from the tower ordered a recheck on one single seat. Soon as that restraint was down enough the tower gave the clear to go. It's amazing how much you can learn about theses things just by watching :).
Save Cheese on a stick! *** This post was edited by Joe E. on 10/23/2001. ***
Being at BGW friday and riding AC 15 times I saw about 3 or 4 people not able to ride ac because they were too big, there is a red mark on the base of the restraints that is aparantly the minimum safe point, the restraint locks above that point but from what I saw the ride ops used that to gauge if the prson was the right size, I am guessing that is the maximim open point that a person would be 100% restrained. any more and I guess even a large person stands a chance of slipping out. I know fomr one instance I lef my sretrain about 2 click loose. (cheers to that male ride op! and boos to that blonde girl who stapled me in 4 times) and I was able to slip up and backwards about 2-3 inches and fell back down into the seat at the bottom on that first drop. after that the force of me coming down in the seat and the bar following me locke dit down tight and no movement happeneds on the rest of the ride. ok ok I don;t need to hear it I know it was stupid and it did scare the crap out of me. and I didn't do that again!
All at once the ghosts come back reeling you in now.
Such intriguing posts, I'll type that much... Such great theories.. and assumptions, I'm digging it...
I thought some people have said that she sat on her belt.
That would make sense with all of the information. But of course Knotts would have realized that she sat on it by now.
But that would still stand with the statements that lap bar was down and belt buckled...
I'm not sure if you could survive with just a lap bar. The angle of the drop is kind of extreme.

Anyone else know anything about this??

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Jeff's avatar
Good for you, Why Me. Once again you've proven that you can anonymously show up from nowhere without an ounce of credibility and make stupid comments that have no bearing on anything. If you are what you say you are, put up or shut up. We don't need your pathetic and cowardly attempts at sounding important.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

Comments in another forum suggest that the Plunge victim had lacerations on her body consistent with sliding out of a seat belt.

I'm still having difficulty figuring out how she would be tossed from the boat. Gravity applies the same acceleration to the boat and to everything in it. Did she have no legs at all?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Perhaps she was very short, or had very short legs.  Very short legs + large belly = no lap, and nothing for the bar/seat belt to actually grab ahold of.
I think I understand how she could have slid...or more likely been propelled, out of the boat.  This is going to seem crude but hear me out.

Pretend her body looked like an hour glass...but cut in half so that there was a round top and skinny middle..but no bottom.  Now, when she boarded the boat let's assume that they got the bar locked by pushing down through the rounded belly area.  It is conceivable that should would have little legs.

Now, when the boat crests the hill...and she was sitting in the back?  The front of the boat noses down lifting the back of the boat.  Her weight starts moving up towards her head.  The momentum of her weight keeps moving up as the boat falls away, lifting her out of her seat (air time) but she keeps on going.

There is no science to this.  I am just getting a picture in my head of all of these things occurring the worst possible moment.

My understanding is that she was sitting in the front, as she turned around to talk to riders behind her...

I think the ride ops goofed by not checking her lap belt..which is one of my general therories on accidents that are not rider responsibility; human error...
but what still puzzles me is how she came out of the ride, being so heavy, you think she would have got caught up on the lap restraint, and a super thin person would have an easier time slipping through and catching that "air" time...

I am still really puzzled how this occured. It is really sad no matter how it washes out.

P>lt;lt;FONT face=Verdana size=2>Good for you, Why Me. Once again you've proven that you can anonymouslynbsp;show up from nowhere without an ounce of credibility and makenbsp;stupid comments that have no bearing on anything. If you are what you say you are, put up or shut up. We don't need your pathetic and cowardly attempts at sounding important. gt;gt;/P>
P>How can I be a coward, when for a fact I know that you've been e-mailed and called out by Richard Harris amusement park safety expert and you've yet to respond?? I've told you countless times we can e-mail and discuss this amusement park safety topic, yet last time I checked no e-mail... I never said I was important, but I feel you look at me as an important person, and for that, I'm grateful..../P>
This is Jeff's site, and Jeff makes the rules, but I'm going to make a suggestion:

Please, no pissing contests in the NEWS section. Save that for the forums, or for email.

Thank you.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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