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Oakwood Discussion Thread


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As much as I sympathise with the family, that charge terrifies me. If they manage to get them under the health and safty at work act, thats going to open the floodgates to the same kind of legal culture in the UK as there is in the States. People will be able to sue companies for not protecting them from their own stupidity.

 

Was the accident the girl's fault? I think its a bit harsh to suggest the girl died because of her stupidity if you don't know what happened. If you have more information then fair enough, and please share it.

 

I remember reading about it a while ago, there was talk of the boat being able to leave the station with the lapbar up, or partially up, have no idea how true this is, can anyone shed any light on this?

 

 

How was she ejected from the ride? Don't those boat rides have a collective lap bar? So this would mean that, unless those two people were the only ones in that row, the whole row would've fallen out.

 

If a rider(s) who was a lot larger was in the same row, the lapbar would have not come down as far, and slimmer people would have a much larger gap between them and the lap bar.

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^ I remember reading that it had something to do with the girl being too small, but that could be a mistake in my recollection.

 

As for the Knott's incident, that rider was deemed too large, although the lapbar and seatbelt were functioning "properly". In reaction, they put the five point-style harness on the seats and then determined that you could now be either too big or too small to ride depending how snug it fit. After that they then added the OTSRs they now have.

 

In the past I have seen Intamin rides testing with the t-bars up, so they didn't necessarily have sensors to determine if the bars are down far enough. Due to the design of the bars, they can lock in any position, not necessarily one that provides the maximum protection for all shapes and sizes.

 

That said...Knotts has since added a little guage to the bars for Xcelerator that turns green when the bar is down far enough. It works similar to a "level". Additionally, at SFMM they added sensors to Superman that will not allow the car to launch unless all the bars are down to a pre-determined level.

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Was the accident the girl's fault? I think its a bit harsh to suggest the girl died because of her stupidity if you don't know what happened. If you have more information then fair enough, and please share it.

 

Seems I was a little unclear with what I was saying there. I never intended to suggest the girl was stupid or that it was her fault.

 

What I was concerned about was that the case could set a legal precedent. The way the charge is worded, it seems like people could say things like "I jumped from the pub area in the pleasure beach onto the rollercoaster tracks and was severely injured when the train hit me. The fault lies with the pleasure beach because it was possible for me to jump the fence onto the tracks." Thats what worries me. I really don't want this country to go that way, but seeing all the accident claim ads on TV, it looks like its going that way already.

 

As for the accident, I don't really know what caused it, I've never seen a report of the inquiry. I heard it was inconclusive. What I've been hearing around the net is that some people had been complaining that their shirts or the waterproof they can get before going on the ride, have been getting stuck in the clip for the seatbelt as they close it. This has been known to stop it closing properly and making it pop open when it pulls on you as the boat drops. This coupled with a lap bar which is either too high (or your too small for) could make someone lift out of the boat. Especially as some people react to a drop by tensing their legs, which straightens them. But then they usually hold on as they do that. This is just speculation though, things I've read on various forums and news pages.

 

I wonder if the report for the first inquiry into the accident is available through the Freedom of Information act? It may not be since the police are involved. but might be worth checking out if you really want to know.

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^I see what you mean, and even though I don't live in the UK, I agree completely. It seems like a lot of the charm of European parks come from things that we'll unfortunately never see in the U.S. again. Hopefully suing people won't become a trend there like it is here.

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Okay, I got bored and did a little digging and found this.

 

This is a report on the inquest (still ongoing at the time) that I hadnt seen before. Its from the questioning of the ride supervisor.

 

The story here.

 

EDIT: I also found this, covering the result of the inquiry. Here are a few choice parts

 

"CCTV footage taken at the ride before the boat left clearly showed that Hayley's lap bar was in an "open and unsafe position". Other CCTV footage showed both operators had failed to properly check that passengers were secure."

 

"Mr Howells said Oakwood could not be criticised for the type of restraints in use at the time of Hayley's death as they were industry standard. He added that both ride supervisor Gareth Etches and ride assistant Rebecca Chittleburgh knew that they had to physically check the passenger restraints, but failed to do so. "

 

"Mr Howells said it was clear that the lap bar restraint on the ride, designed to stop people falling out, was not in position when it started, and it appeared Hayley's seatbelt had not been done up."

 

The full article.

 

If this goes the the crown court and gets proven guilty of a breach, there is no legal limit to the fine they could set. I mean sure, the girl should have said something if her bar was still up, but then so should the people sitting next to her.

I dont agree at all with protecting people from their own stupidity, but if the staff didnt perform proper safety checks the blame lies with the people who should have been making sure they are done. Be that the staff, the people in charge of training or the management.

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Seems I was a little unclear with what I was saying there. I never intended to suggest the girl was stupid or that it was her fault.

 

Yeah, now you mention it I can see that wasn't your intention, just the way I read it.

 

It does appear in this case, at least from reading the reports, that the ride restraints were not used properly, essentially resulting in the death of the girl. As far as I am concerned, it is the responsibility of the ride ops at the park, and in turn the park's responsibility to ensure ride ops are both trained effectively, and also operaing the ride to the expected standard. This must be what the HSE has picked up on, and why Oakwood are being fined, and in my view, this is the right action to be taken.

 

I understand what you're saying about ending up having to protect people from their own stupidity, and it is a shame that it's necessary to do this. The main thing to remember is that in *most* cases, the park would have to be proven negligent on some point, i.e. the fence climbing you mentioned. The HSE has guidelines that must be met, and I would assume that if these guidelines are met, the park cannot be held responsible if someone does climb over a fence and get injured. As long as the fencing meets the guidelines, the park would most likely not be fined, however then the HSE would probably make suggestions to make it more difficult to climb over said fence. I do still know however that there are some ridiculous examples of people who have acted in a completely retarded manner and got compensation for it.

 

I have little sympathy for those who get injured or killed due to their own stupidity, such as the guy who was killed getting his hat from under Katun (I think) sometime in the last few months. He climbed a fence and paid the ultimate price, all for the sake of a hat.

 

Sadly, in this case, someone died as a result of another persons actions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all

 

Oakwood Leisure Park (Wales) was sold earlier today.

 

Here's a link and the report below.

 

http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/display.var.2111014.0.oakwood_bought_by_european_leisure_group.php

 

Oakwood Theme Park has been snapped up for an undisclosed sum by European leisure park leaders the Aspro group.

 

News broke in December that the Canaston Bridge attraction, had attracted a mystery bidder. The theme park confirmed that an offer had been made and was being considered by management but refused to be drawn into speculation as to the identity of the bidder.

 

A statement issued on behalf of Oakwood Theme Park and the Aspro Group today confirmed the sale.

 

"I am delighted that Aspro has acquired the park, which is Wales's largest paid for visitor attraction," said former owner Paddy McNamara, "as they have an excellent track record of operating leisure parks across Europe."

 

The Aspro group currently operates 32 leisure parks in seven countries: 13 in Spain, one in Portugal, one in Switzerland, one in Belgium, nine in France, five in Finland.

 

With the acquisition of Oakwood the company now owns three parks in the U.K. the other two being the Deep Sea World Aquarium in Fife near Edinburgh and Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port, Chester.

 

The group described Oakwood as "a highly regarded amusement park with magnificent installations".

 

The tourist attraction celebrated its 20th birthday last year, after starting life as a dairy farm diversification in 1987.

 

Since then, it has expanded to employ 350 seasonal staff and 45 permanent workers, and has invested more than £21million in new rides.

 

Among them are the famous Megafobia, rated as one of the world's best wooden rollercoasters, and the £3m vertical drop rollercoaster Speed - the first of its kind in the UK.

 

Managing director and major shareholder, Paddy McNamara, bought out his older brother William, who is now chief executive of the £110 (million presumably) Bluestone complex, several years ago.

 

Oakwood will be open for the 2008 season from 20th March until 28th September.

 

Simon B (UK)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hope Oakwood are not going to become a lost Theme Park with it's new owners in a few years time, e.g. American Adventure.

 

Megafobia is the best "woody" in UK, tons of and wicked layout,

 

I wish it was closer to my house, say Thorpe Park.

 

Get rid of X: NWO and install a world's 1st indoor's woodie, some of the track can come out the side of the building so the coaster length is 3,000ft.

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  • 8 months later...

It was announced today that Oakwood have been fined £250,000 after an investigation into the girl's death on Hydro in 2004. In addition to this they also have to pay £80,000 costs.

 

Full story from The BBC website, here.

 

Hopefully this will at least go some way to preventing a similar accident in the future. The report states that CCTV from the day showed several times where the boat left the station without the proper safety checks being completed.

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What I was concerned about was that the case could set a legal precedent. The way the charge is worded, it seems like people could say things like "I jumped from the pub area in the pleasure beach onto the rollercoaster tracks and was severely injured when the train hit me. The fault lies with the pleasure beach because it was possible for me to jump the fence onto the tracks." Thats what worries me. I really don't want this country to go that way, but seeing all the accident claim ads on TV, it looks like its going that way already.

 

 

Haha! Sounds about right for someone living in the US.

 

The land of you aren't accountable for your own stupidity! Matter of fact, you'll get rich because of it!

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  • 4 years later...

http://www.carmarthenjournal.co.uk/Oakwood-reveals-Peter-Pan-themed-4m-Neverland/story-18937287-detail/story.html

 

After months of secrecy, Oakwood has revealed the name of its new £4 million attraction which is set to open later this month.

 

The new family area will be called Neverland and is themed around the world-famous Peter Pan story by author J M Barrie.

 

It occupies more than three acres is the theme park’s most significant investment for some time.

 

Among the new rides are Skull Rock pirate log flume, complete with 12 metre sculpted skull, the Lost Boys Adventure, Neverland Chase, Tink’s Flying School, Crocodile Coaster, Jolly Roger mini galleon, Hook’s House of Havoc soft play and the Sights of London taxi ride featuring Big Ben, the Tower of London and Nelson’s Column.

 

There is also Journey to Neverland an interactive, walk- through area which takes visitors in to the Darling family home and above the streets of London before arriving in Neverland itself.

 

Other areas are themed as London parks and there is also a kids’ Aerodrome ride as well as food and retail outlets.

 

Oakwood Theme Park’s Dominic Jones said: “It’s been tough to keep the name and theme of the new area secret for so long but we really wanted it to be a surprise.

 

“What better inspiration for a theme park could there be than Peter Pan — ‘the boy who would not grow up’?

 

“We’re on track to be able to open Neverland to visitors later this month and we can’t wait to see their reactions.

 

“This is by far the biggest investment at Oakwood in recent times and it will completely transform and add significantly to the visitor experience.”

 

“We have been fortunate to work with the top theming companies and designers in Europe and everyone here is delighted with the results of all their hard work.”

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Wow, sounds like a really good addition. 4 million pounds sounds doesn't sound like a lot for both a coaster and a flume among other things. If I recall correctly their existing kiddy coaster and flume ride were really close to each other, could this just be a retheme of that area?

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I think this is great news for Oakwood. I was there shortly after they opened Speed and I really enjoyed the park (for a small park)

I hope the little investment brings them more profits and they continue to grow.

Its always great to hear of little parks expanding not just the giants in these hard times.

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  • 4 months later...

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