Yesterday at the park a group of us was on Vortex when they e-stopped the ride. We were in the service brakes just outside the station when they stopped a train on the lift. We sat out in the service brakes for a while before they manually brought us in to the station. However the train would not come all the way into the station and we had to sit about 15 minutes. We noticed quite a bit of management and supervisors arriving at the ride. They headed up the lift hill and opened a set of restraints. My first thought was a complete evacuation, however one of the ride managers came by and said that they had let a girl on that was to short and they were getting her off. They walked down a little girl and her dad. They brought them down the lift and over to the height check where she was clearly 3-4 inches under the proper height! Although she got on and was not checked I commend the Vortex staff for seeing this concern and evacuating the little girl. It really makes me wonder what other parks would do that or if they would just let it go. So a big shout out to the Vortex staff for taking the time to insure the safety of the little girl! *** Edited 4/11/2005 2:54:03 PM UTC by Trick Track***
I'll admit that e-stopping the ride was a good precaution, but should we really be congratulating the crew when they only noticed the girl's height when the ride was already out of the station? Considering that she should have passed several employees before stepping into the vehicle, plus the employees checking the restraint, she should have been caught well before she ever stepped foot into the train.
I understand the big shame of letting her on in the first place but once the ride was on its way how many parks would have let it go? Not to mention PKI does not staff the rides with enough people that she is going to pass by several employees first. In this scenario she was probably only seen by 1 employee checking the shoulder restraint. I would tend to think that a lot of parks/employees would just let it go and hope for the best! I hope that I am wrong but out of all the years that I have been traveling and ridding roller coasters I have never seen this done.
I agree that stopping the ride was the obviously correct action, but I am failing to see why there should be acclaim for the employee(s) who didn't do his or her job in the first place. How many other under-height children haven't been checked before boarding and completed a circuit?
I agree, while they did the right thing by stopping the train the girl should have never been on the ride in the first place. This reminds me of my experience on MF last summer where the kid next to me couldn't get is seatbelt on/lapbar all the way down and the train dispatched. He was overweight, and i helped him get the seatbelt on going up the lift hill, but of course we were e-stopped about 3/4 of the way up, and got the visit from the little cart.
There are better buttons to press then E-Stop in that situation, perhaps just stopping the lift hill, that way all the trains safely return, and none get stuck in the MCBR's.
Personally that girl should have been caught BEFORE she was actually on the ride, while it was a good thing that the Operator saw and stopped the ride, but the crew probably all got write-ups for the incident, Especially since they caused what seems to be quite a long period of downtime for something that could have been prevented.
As purely a guess as to why the ride was stopped, it was likely due to the person operating the ride in the booth. On Saturday a person got a call on their cell phone just as the train was leaving. The person in the booth couldn't see the phone out right away, but as the train left the station she could see it. So she applied the station brakes and the person handed over the phone, with only the fist car or so out of the station. In the case of this little girl, the op in the booth probably noticed her on the way out of the station (as they were intently looking at every seat as the train left the station...on all of the rides at the park). Then with her, the train was too far out to stop, or they have a rule where they can't open the restraints with the train only partly in the station so they had to do it on the lift.
Now as for celebrating the ride-ops, I too agree thats going to far. I would venture to say that they should in fact get in some form of trouble for this incident. There was no reason why they should have let the little girl on in the first place. The E-stop wasted much time for park employees, not to mention the inconvence it caused for the park guests on the ride and the ones who wanted to ride.
I am not celebrating the fact that they let her on I am applauding them for doing the right thing of stopping the ride and getting her off. That was the right thing to do and not all parks and or employees would do that. As I mentioned earlier Shame, Shame, Shame for letting her on but Kudos for admitting the mistake and stopping the ride to get her off. I would rather sit in a train for 15 minutes than risk someones safety. Anybody could have shrugged it off and risk letting the girl ride and get hurt. *** Edited 4/11/2005 4:39:31 PM UTC by Trick Track***
Wow well at least they DID notice and not just ignore it. I do agree though she shouldn't of gotten as far as she did. Sometimes I wonder if employees really understand how important the height requirments are? I mean they're there so the kid dosen't fall out! But I promise you they got written up for it.
I am in complete shock. If someone is doing their job correctly, a child that is 3 to 4 inches too short, would have never stepped foot in the train. Obviously, the employee(s) that were measuring, did not have their full attention on measuring. I believe that measuring is the most important task that a ride operator must perform.
Mark Burleson said:The E-stop wasted much time for park employees, not to mention the inconvence it caused for the park guests on the ride and the ones who wanted to ride.
But it saved her life. I would wait all day if it meant someone's life would be saved. Also... where is the cell phone situation guess coming from? Maybe he/she dropped his or her burrito and didn't see the girl.
Just another reason to "stick 'em" at park entrance and put a nice colored wristband on 'em indicating their height so ops only need to visually GLANCE to determine whether a rider is of appropriate height for the ride...;)
P.S. Anyone notice that Vortex is no longer a "minor" ride at PKI....Happy 18th Vortex! :)
I don't think it is a big deal either way. They have a height check at the gate to eliminate some. Then they look at them when they come in the station. Then they look at them as the get on the train. Then they look at them more as the train leaves. It is a filter system so they can catch some that the last filter missed. Here is a shocker for you: kids too small to ride have been on EVERY coaster out there. It just happens because no one can see everyone under all circumstances. There could have been a lot of distractions like other kids to measure, guests needing special attention, and maybe even a parent shielding the view of his kid trying to be slick. They caught it which is nice. If not, she would have been fine. PKI is not the only park to e-stop a ride. Either way, life goes on.
Raven, there should be no such thing about a "filter system". The intention of a height station is to check every rider, not for staff to "spot check" every once and a while. Parks do not want kids like the one mentioned falling through the cracks of the system. I can't vouch for other parks, but I know that the policy at Kennywood is for the height station TM to check every rider that may be of questionable height. The ride operators have enough on their plate without trying to judge the height of the riders, which is why parks assign "height checking" positions on each ride, so that the employee is concentrating on rider restrictions and nothing more. I don't see why you think this isn't a big deal--there is a reason why height restrictions are in effect! We've seen instances when proper-sized people have been ejected from rides, let alone kids that are way too small. It's difficult to judge the height of riders from the seated position, so the crew is extremely lucky that a ride operator caught her when the train was leaving the station.
Mark Burleson, what park was it that they handed over the cell phone? I know how that can be a danger but after going to Geauga Lake all season and seeing people on rides with them and the employees thinking nothing of it, I just assumed that it was being accepted that having a cell phone out was okay. I specfically remember a train being dispatched on Villain and the ride operator saying to the rider "It's going to be tough to hear out there, but good luck". After the accident on that ride a few years back, it shocks me that anyone would be allowed to go with something like that in their hands. I agree that stopping a ride for a girl or even a cell phone is the right decision.
Last year I had a e-stop on the lift hill the Vortex Crew forgot to lock the lap bars down on everyone in the train and let it start up the hill. So we got about half way up and they stoped the ride. Then some kid comes up and saids they are sorry they let us out of the station. Well to end this story they got the lap bars locked and let us go on and ride.
Vortex, which Vortex are you refearing to? I can not imagine a train leaving with the restraints un-locked. Under the car is a bar that raises up to release the restraints. If (for some reason) the train did get dispatched without locking the restraints the restraints should automatically lock as they left the station. There would be nothing there to keep the restraints in the Un-lock position. Are you sure they did not check someones restraint or notice a possible problem with a restraint. I just don't see a whole train leaving with restraints unlocked.
rollergator said: Just another reason to "stick 'em" at park entrance
That reminds me of the girl I saw at SDC over Spring Break that, according to her father, enjoyed getting measured, which is why she had refused bands previously in the day. I'm glad the op "stuck it to her" and coaxed her into getting a band. ;)