Jet ski plows into crowd at Sea World in Australia

Posted Friday, September 27, 2002 4:46 AM | Contributed by supermandl

Four people were injured at Sea World in Australia when a rider fell from his jet ski in a water show and the craft flew into the audience.

Read more and see video from The Australian Broadcasting Company.

Friday, September 27, 2002 4:47 AM

That is odd that the thing didn't have a kill switch. I didn't think one has been made without it in ten years.

Anyone remember when an entire boat went into the audience at the former Sea World of Ohio? That was pretty stunning video.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, when it's all in your mind. You gotta let go." - Ghetto, Supreme Beings of Leisure

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Friday, September 27, 2002 6:06 AM
I'm beginning to think these water stunt shows are not entirely safe.........

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, September 27, 2002 6:19 AM
Actually it did have one, they blame it on mechanical failure.

This is in my country?? Crikey!

Jeff, the ABC link ain't working, I've provided one for now; http://www.abc.net.au/news/2002/09/item20020927000842_1.htm[/url]

Hmm, even if the engine was killed at a high speed, wouldn't it coast (pun unintended) for some distance? The article said it would stop quickly & this makes sense so that the rider doesn't have to swim far.

My bad, from the video, the engine didn't die.

At the bottom it said it was travelling at about 60kmh (37mph) when it it the shore. That's pretty quick.

Is there a link to an online video of that SWO accident?

Dave, that ain't nothing compared to airshows. A while back at an Ukrainian show, a Russian SU-27 crashed through the crowd, killing over 80 spectators.

*** This post was edited by Taipan on 9/27/2002. ***

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Friday, September 27, 2002 6:41 AM

This is a really strange incident. I thought there where quite a few rules laid down when the accident happened at Sea World Ohio. If I remember correctly (and it has been awhile back, so I'm not sure). I thought they added more shore line and more "sturdy" fence in front of the crowd? I would think they would take these precautions at all Sea World Parks. Though, it does look like the Jet Ski hit way over in the corner of the crowd from all the CNN videos.

On a seperate note, this could have been a lot worse due to the fact of where the jet ski hit. Usually (at most US theme park stadiums) The bottom corner is where all the Hadicap people like to sit or wheelchairs due to the location of it being out the way, alsong with some parents and strollers (if they allow them in).

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Friday, September 27, 2002 7:53 AM

Anyone have a vid of the accident at Sea World Ohio? I never got to see it. This is a strange accident though. Kinda odd. Thankgoodness no one was killed.

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Friday, September 27, 2002 8:03 AM

I know on some other models or the particlular models of the Jet Ski in question do not have kill switches, but if my memory serves me correctly this model does have a kill switch. But being that this is a water show I know sometimes the operator will leave the lanyard wraped around the handle bars that way he can just jump right back on and take off without having to go through the restarting procedure.

If anyone gets a chance look at the video one more time. I believe there were two jet ski's involved in the incident and both were running after the riders fell off, I'm not entirely sure though.

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Friday, September 27, 2002 9:14 AM
RollerCoasterGod says:


I thought there where quite a few rules laid down when the accident happened at Sea World Ohio. If I remember correctly (and it has been awhile back, so I'm not sure). I thought they added more shore line and more "sturdy" fence in front of the crowd? I would think they would take these precautions at all Sea World Parks.

Not all Sea Worlds are created equal...
Sea World AU <> Sea World USA. Whatever Anheuser-Busch does in their Sea World parks would not apply to the Australian park which is not affiliated in any way with the US Sea World parks.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
EDIT: The parser killed my "<>"... *** This post was edited by RideMan on 9/27/2002. ***

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Friday, September 27, 2002 10:55 AM
Jeff, the Seaworld Ohio accident was the first think I thought of when I saw this. I remember that accident very well.

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Friday, September 27, 2002 12:10 PM
Shocking how that happened. Rideman stated "I'm beginning to think these water stunt shows are not entirely safe......... " I think the problem is they are entirely too close to the seats in spots.

But anyways for the people who wanted to see the video of the Sea World Ohio accident here is a video of it. Quite shocking http://www.rbbi.com/folders/acc/seaworld/accident.mov

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Friday, September 27, 2002 12:20 PM
What was the cause of the accident at Sea World Ohio? It almost looks like the driver was aiming to land in the audience.
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Friday, September 27, 2002 12:24 PM
Was anyone killed in that? It sure looks like it.
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Friday, September 27, 2002 12:25 PM

Jet Skis stop pretty fast when you fall off. You attach a velcro strap to your arm which is attached to an ignition cutoff. It the key isn't in the slot the Jet Ski just dies.

From watching the accident on the news it would appear to me that somehting more major then that happened s the craft rocketed into the crowd. The default position on any throttle like that is idle. The boat would have kept going but not as fast as it did.

I don't know what to think. It wouldn't surprise me if the rider didn't attach his strap to hgis arm.

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Friday, September 27, 2002 12:56 PM
So this Sea World is just a park that coincidentally has the same name as the AB parks? Or were they at once one company, and AB just bought the US ones?

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"When I was growing up, we were taught something called manners. You'd understand that if you weren't such an idiot." - Jack Handey

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Friday, September 27, 2002 1:03 PM
Wow......thanks for the vid Steve. What actually happened in that accident? Did the guy just loose control? How many people died? I remember hearing about this when it happened but never saw the vido until now.
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Friday, September 27, 2002 6:20 PM

Magnum Force said:

Jet Skis stop pretty fast when you fall off. You attach a velcro strap to your arm which is attached to an ignition cutoff. It the key isn't in the slot the Jet Ski just dies.


This was mentioned earlier in the post, what I'm suspecting happened, is the rider was dilberatly not using the kill switch, ie it was on the Jet Ski but not attacthed to the rider.

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Friday, September 27, 2002 6:36 PM

About the show not being safe: This one's been going for 44 years (30 on its current site) and this is the first time a person in the audience has been injured, and the most serious injury was a broken leg.

This one is down to mechanical failure. It appears that the throttle and handle bars broke when the jetski went over the ramp, which is surprising, since the jetskis are reinforced by Yamaha especially to be able to do that stunt. Rest assured, if the riders fall off, the jet skis stop.

That part of the show is a race (the whole show was copied off 'Intensity Games' at Seaworld Orlando), and when the guys go underwater, they do stay on the skis, so they can get away quickly (or if they do fall off they hold onto the handle bars so that they can recover quick). If they fall off and loose the handlebars, then they've pretty much lost the race, because it takes a while to get going again.

Also a point about the Seaworld Ohio accident: The boat was going to turn at the last minute to spray the crowd, but a steering malfunction caused it too go straight into the crowd. They actually changed the Seaworld Australia ski show to make sure it didn't happen down here.

Not sure about the name, but the story I heard was that the name was stolen from the US parks before they could do anything about it (possibly wasn't copyrighted or something like that).

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Seaworld Australia Resource
http://www.geocities.com/doza35au/Seaworld_main_page.html

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Friday, September 27, 2002 8:46 PM
I just want to say: In the words of george carlin(not quoting): It was entertainment. Yes I do think that was horrible but I wanted to say that
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Saturday, September 28, 2002 5:40 AM

As unfortunate as these accidents are (and I believe the SWO one was much worse), they are very infrequent and much less devastating than the several air show accidents that have occured over the past several years.

Whenever you have a spectator sport with vehicles going at very high rates of speed, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. Even with concrete walls and high fences, spectators have been killed or hurt in auto races.

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

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 1:05 AM
The people hit by the ski were in fact in an area used for people in wheelchairs. One of the ladies that was just hit by the ski, moved herself to the side to protect her daughter in the wheel chair and the gent that was behind her is the one in hospitial still, recovering from a broken leg. And there was NO saftey fence in this area of the lake. Questions should be asked about this one.
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