Three hurt in Castle Park flume accident

Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2019 10:37 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A family of three was tossed from a log ride at a Southern California amusement park when a water pump malfunctioned over the weekend. A woman was critically injured and a man and child suffered minor injuries as the log-shaped car hit the bottom of a water slide, flipped over and ejected the three from the vessel at Castle Park in Riverside on Saturday, fire officials say.

Read more from USA Today.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019 11:20 PM

Maybe Dave can share some thoughts, but wouldn't the fail-safe on a pump malfunction on a water slide actually cause 'too much' water to be in the splash pool?

Normally the splash pool is the lowest part of the ride, and water flows to the lowest point, so how did their end up being not enough water available?

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019 11:26 PM

Actually, water continues downhill beyond the splash pool, so if the pumps stop working you're going to lose water and its stopping power. Most flumes have water level sensors for this reason; whether the Castle Park ride had these sensors, whether or not they were working, or whether the sensors stopped the ride too late has not yet been disclosed.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019 8:04 AM

I have worked on rides where the if the pump feeding the splash run out channel trips, it will e-stop the ride. That's all well and good - but have had scenarios where the pump is running, but not running at full flow.

I've worked on other rides where there is a float switch in the channel. In the event of the water level dropping, the ride would trip.

I've worked on another ride which had a float switch that would alarm if the water was running low - but it didn't stop the ride. The operator could then switch on an additional pump to get the water level higher in the trough.

Not sure what the most common solution is.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019 12:01 PM

So am I mistaken in thinking that the splash pool is the lowest part of the ride? I suppose it needs to get lower in the station, then out the station, but had always assumed that was just current driving that. I'm guessing my thought was wrong, based on the ride.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019 6:31 PM

I worked on an old Arrow log flume many years ago. Lowest part of the ride was before the lifts. Not certain but seem to remember there being another pump behind the drop into the run out. There was a block system in place that used a float switch and regular switch at the end of the run out. Lift would stop if water level was low or a boat hadn't cleared the run out.

Looked at a youtube POV and this doesn't look like an Arrow flume so not sure what safety system is in place. There's an elevated turn around after the second lift and a very small lift/belt just before the big drop which would stop a boat from going down. There's some sort of safety system in place but suppose we will have to wait for the investigation to see if the automated system failed or staff didn't respond to some sort of water level or pump failure alert in time.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019 8:47 PM

The late Bud Hurlbut built Castle Park after he lost his leases at Knotts. I would surmise that Bud built the flume ride, as he built the one at Knotts.

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