Tidal Force flume crashes at Hersheypark, six have minor injuries

Posted Tuesday, July 1, 2003 4:47 AM | Contributed by 3r1c

A boat on the flume ride Tidal Force at Hersheypark failed to brake at the bottom of its run and crashed into a guardrail, injuring six people. The injured were sent to Hershey Medical Center, according to reports. Their names and conditions were not available.

Read more from The Lebanon Daily News.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 5:27 AM
That's a little scary. Isn't Tidal Force one of the Tallest and Fastest Chute-The Chutes? I had no idea that there were brakes on it.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 6:42 AM
from themeparkinsider.com

text removed... please don't copy-and-paste from other sites. link instead. -J

Do you have more information about any of these incidents? Do you wish to clarify or correct this*** This post was edited by Jeff 7/1/2003 11:00:27 AM ***

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 7:46 AM
Failed to brake? Is there something other than water that is supposed to slow the boat?
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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:08 AM
I did check out Themeparkinsider.com (as suggested above).

The two write ups there were a little confusing... something about the e-stop being hit when it was not supposed to be, and water not filling up in the trough as the bottom and it was too shallow when the boat hit the bottom and it skipped like a stone across a lake and on to the rocks. One account makes it sound like the e-stop was hit for a reason, one makes it sound like it was hit by accident.

Not certain from the two accounts there if a) there was no water in the trough and the e-stop was hit because of this, but too late as the boat was already in the plunge, or b) if the e-stop was hit by accident, cutting off the flow of water to the trough, and a boat was already in the plunge at the time.

Odd thing is... this thread here was the first I heard of this accident. Considering how the local news (especially NBC affiliate WGAL 8 in Lancaster PA) likes to sensationalize things, I thought this would be blasted all across the airways and plastered on the front pages of all local papers.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 7/1/2003 12:09:30 PM ***

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:09 AM
I thought the water slowed the boats down to? I wonder if White Waterfalls at Carowinds has brakes....hmmm

Dustin

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:09 AM
That's what I've been trying to figure out. I heard about this 2 days ago on the news, but had to wait until yesterday when the news station posted it on their site to submit it. I still got beat out... ;) I don't believe there are brakes, but I could be wrong. RideMan?

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If at first don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:16 AM
Wow, I was there on Saturday. I did think it was strange that it was closed later in the day with a security guard sitting at the entrance.

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Sue Barry
CoasterSue@aol.com

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:25 AM
I know that at SFOG Splashwater falls uses the water itself to slow down the boats. It looks like the brakes failed up in Hersherypark on this ride.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:44 AM
This has happened before. It did the same thing last year, however I'm not sure of the severity, but I don't think it was as bad.

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"If we knew how safe roller coasters were, we'd lose their thrill" - Daniel Keller

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 8:48 AM
IM willing to bet that the E-stop was hit and THEN the boat crashed. It would make sense that the e-stop would drain the water in the trough to stop any boats en-route to the station
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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 9:46 AM
I agree with the above comments. I thought that it was the water that slowed these things down. Aside from Perilous Plunge, I can't say I've seen a flume that was stopped by anything other than water.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 11:37 AM
Here is a another story about the accident. (edit: sorry its an editorial)

http://www.ldnews.com/Stories/0,1413,139~10141~1488416,00.html

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Army Rangers lead the way*** This post was edited by supermandl34 7/1/2003 3:38:11 PM ***

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 12:12 PM
That editorial seems to disregard the idea that maybe, perhaps, this was really a non-incident and the hospital visits were all a CYA move.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 12:42 PM
As stated before, if some of the local media would even smell the hint of a story here, they would be on the park like vultures. After reading the LDNews "editorial", I am starting to think along the lines of what Jeff was hinting at... a non incident and a CYA move sending the people to the hospital.

Think about it... Has Hershey had a history of covering up incidents? No. While there have been very few in recent history, those that have occured... three kids being injured on a kiddie train ride being the latest a few years ago... were not covered up by the park. Even when their "new" Canyon River Rapids had an accident not long after it first opened back in the 1980's, they were very up front with the information.

Also, IF this would have been a major accident, and ambluances would have been dispatched to the park, you can bet that local news media would have been flying to see what was going on. Since nothing was mentioned specifically about ambulances in the stories, and since no news media (who regularly monitor police and fire dispatches for leads) were alerted in this manner, is it reasonable to assume that the visits to the hospital were not of the drastica manner? Then again, one witness in one of the other articles / stories did mention back boards and inflatable cuffs for a leg injury.

Then it comes down to the tone of the LDNews editorial. A bit agressive and accusitory. Are they trying to make a news story out of a non story? (No.... would a news paper wouldn't do that? Would they?)

Am I giving HP a pass on this? No. It is possible that they could be in coverup mode. It is also possible that a local news paper could be sensationalizing an incident that is really a non incident.

Until proof to the contrary is given, I think I will take a "wait and see" stance to see what comes out about this in the next few days.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 3:00 PM
This is not the first time I've heard about the O.D. Hopkins ride "hydroplaning". It apparently happened on a visit in 2001. One of the Coasterbuzz members confirmed that after I posted a trip report reporting that the ride was open, and then as soon as I had gotten my swimsuit out of the car and made the long walk back, it was closed.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 3:02 PM
Crashed into the guardrail??? Ran up onto the rocks almost hitting the railing??? I've ridden this thing a hundred times. The only rocks I'm aware of are for looks and they're on the outside of the so-called guardrail. So unless the boat went out over the trough or track that it runs in (which would be near impossible), then that is totally bogus...

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Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 4:00 PM
SLFAKE, there were 3 ambulance racing out of the park through the employee lot while I was eating the day of the incident.

Superstew, it's not bogus. I know an employee who saw the incident and he told me that it did run up the rocks and almost hit the railing.

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"If we knew how safe roller coasters were, we'd lose their thrill" - Daniel Keller*** This post was edited by 3r1c 7/1/2003 8:02:00 PM ***

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 7:42 PM
A coverup? Oh sheesh.

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2002/2003
KWTM

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Wednesday, July 2, 2003 4:30 AM
That was the first I heard of the "3 ambluances racing out of the park through the employee lot".

Hey... I said that "it is possible" that they are in cover up mode. Anything is possible... HOWEVER... with the feeding frenzy that news media go into when there is an "incident" at a park, I am wondering how much sensationalizing is going on by the Lebanon Daily News. Nothing was mentioned in the York Daily Record (or Harrisburg Patriot I think). Is it just possible that the local news media, on a slow news day, is just looking for a story to print? Is that possible? (Now, if you don't mind, I have to get back to my FRONT PAGE story in the York Daily Record about Two Face being stuck on the lift at SFA... 90 miles away from here) Is it also possible that some of the witnesses of this "accident" may be exagerating? A boat hydroplaning out of the trough with minor injuries suddenly turns into a boat crashing after it makes the plunge with many people being rushed to the hospital?

CYA policy being wrong? No. Can you blame a park for that? When people sue for getting struck by lightning in parking lots after leaving parks, can you blame any park for transporting people to the hospital to be checked out for ANY injury wen something physically happens to them on one of their rides?

Just a note. IF the one account at Themeparkinsider is correct, I have to laugh. It stated that an employee accidently hit the e-stop instead of the dispatch button, but then later went on to say that the employee was to be commended because they did not restart the ride and flood the trough possibly capsizing the boat. Okay, smart thinking on that latter part, but had the smart thinking been going on in the first place, and had the dispatch button been pushed when it should have been... well, we would not be here talking about this. HOWEVER... as stated above it was said that the e-stop was pushed, the trough drained, the boat hydroplaned (it can be assumed)... but does anyone know what sequence it occured it? Was there a malfunction that caused the trough to drain, and the E-stop was hit too late to stop a boat, or (as the one account says) was the e-stop hit by accident thus draining the trough while a boat was in motion?

WAIT! Enough of this... the local news station just broke in.... there appears to be some sort of incident at some park... the one dip-in-dot's stand lost its freezing unit and all of the dots are melting, dripping out of their little cart... a news chopper is on the way. Stay tuned for more developments on this "terrifying accident". (note: not making fun of any possible injuries with the "accident" on Tidal Force... just poking fun at the idocy of turning a coater stuck on a lift at SFA into a national news story)

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 7/2/2003 8:36:30 AM ***

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