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Accident on Tidal Wave at Trimpers

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I was just watching my local news and they said the accident occurred when "a cable cracked" on the roller coaster. They also said the victims were three children and were not injured, but they were shaken up from the incident.

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WJZ channel 13 in Baltimore reported at 5pm that a cable on the ride snapped. They mentioned that the most serious injury was a cut to a rider's hand.


3 Kids Hurt In Ocean City Roller Coaster Accident



Ocean City Police say three children were hurt in a roller coaster accident. CBS


An employee of an Ocean City amusement park where three children were hurt in a roller coaster accident says no one fell off the ride and all injuries were minimal.


Police and fire personnel were called to Trimper's Rides on South Atlantic Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.


Paramedics took three children between the ages of 10 and 15 to area hospitals, but Trimper's office employee Johnnie Jett said the three were shaken up after a cable cracked on the Tidal Wave roller coaster shortly after the ride began. Jett says one child had a slight cut.


A state licensing and regulation spokesman says officials believe a mechanical failure caused a fire.


The park stayed open, but the double-loop boomerang roller coaster is closed until it can be checked by a state ride safety inspector.



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Correct me if im Wrong, but didnt the Chance Toboggan that was removed this year used to be located next to the Boomerang? if so that could be a reasonable sized area to be used for a new coaster.


Yeah, I don't think they were next next to each other but the end of the Toboggan theoretically would intersect the end of Tidal Wave. The two rides fit nicely into the end of the block there.


These pics I took are from when I was there in 2008, I don't know if that would help place location.Toboggan.jpg.cf839c6e07aacc281d61ea1dfc9341e9.jpg

toboggan location



tidal wave location



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^If you think of an "L," with the Tidal Wave at the top end, the order of attractions between the two is:


Tidal Wave

Water gun game

Raiders funhouse

(this is where the angle of the "L" would be formed)

Rockin' Tug

Former Toboggan space

Frog Hopper


With the exception of the coaster, most of the outdoor rides are cleared from the lot and placed into storage each winter (it's really creepy going by and not seeing the place practically vacant), so rearranging them to better fit a new attraction in future years wouldn't be a stretch.

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It would be a shame, one way or another if this turned out to be the last season for the ride, except if it's the possibility of something better replacing the coaster. While a bit weathered, it is probably the best run Boomerang I've personally ridden. I had rides on it and Sidewinder at Hershey recently, and the difference between the two is rather stark; on the Tidal Wave the padding was softer, and the braking and tracking was far smoother.

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They still don't know what caused the cable to snap. Here an article from an Ocean City paper yesterday


(July 30, 2010) An equipment malfunction on the rollercoaster at Trimper Rides in Ocean City last Thursday sent three children to the hospital and the ride remains closed while investigators determine the cause of the accident.


The Tidal Wave rollercoaster, one of the most popular rides at the Boardwalk amusement park, was running smoothly July 22 until something went wrong around 9:30 p.m. The ride came to an abrupt stop, jostling the children in the cars and causing some minor injuries.


“There was a malfunction in the lift motor. That caused the ride to malfunction and when that happened, all the safety features kicked in and wanted to stop the ride at all costs. The safety computers just stop everything. When the computers brought the ride to an abrupt stop, then a cable broke,” said Brooks Trimper, operations manager of the park.


When the rollercoaster was stopped suddenly and the cable snapped, three children between the ages of 10 and 15 were injured, according to Ocean City Fire Department spokesman Steve Price. Two of the injured children were on the ride and were jostled around when it screeched to a halt, and a third was injured by debris while waiting on the platform beside the ride.


The children on the ride were taken to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin with neck and back injuries and the third was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury for treatment of a facial cut, Price said. He said the injuries were not serious.


The amusement park remains open, but the rollercoaster is closed. Investigators from the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Labor and Industry, the state department that inspects and certifies amusement rides, came to Ocean City to investigate the accident.


“The investigators were on the scene first thing Friday morning. At this point, they haven’t determined exactly what happened. We believe there was some kind of mechanical failure, but there’s no official determination at this point,” departmental spokesman Bernie Kohn said. As of late Tuesday, investigators were still at the scene.


Trimper said the accident was not caused by operator error and that the operator did everything he was supposed to do when alerted to the malfunction.


The rollercoaster is around 25 years old. While that might sound old for a piece of equipment, Trimper said nearly every piece has been replaced over the years due to wear and tear and improvements in technology, so only the track is original.


“It’s very different than when we purchased it. The track is still the same, but very little else is left of what was originally there. We update it every year,” he said.


Permanent amusement rides like roller coasters are inspected every year by the state and must be certified as safe in order to operate. Kohn said Trimper Rides had its annual inspection in May and all the rides, including the rollercoaster, passed with no problems.


“It’s a very thorough examination. We go in and look at the workings of all the machinery and take a very close look at the operations of every ride, from a passenger safety point of view and operator training. There was nothing substantial found that Trimper’s had to fix or repair or change,” he said.


Trimper said the malfunction appeared to occur in a piece of equipment that is not visible unless the ride is taken apart. The park has full-time maintenance crews who check on the rides daily and fix problems on the spot. Trimper said the rides are shut down every winter and checked.


“The ride is completely shut down and looked over top to bottom. The lifts, motors, train cars are disassembled completely and tested thoroughly,” he said.


This is the first accident involving the rollercoaster when people were injured, Kohn said. He said Trimper’s Rides has an excellent safety record with the state for all of its rides.


A representative from the company that manufactured the rollercoaster, Vekoma Rides Manufacturing, came to Ocean City from the company’s headquarters in The Netherlands to inspect the ride along with the state inspectors. Trimper said the manufacturer wants to know what happened so it can prevent similar malfunctions on other roller coasters around the world.


“We haven’t even discussed when it will reopen. We’re more concerned with fixing it properly. There are a lot of tests to run to make sure there wasn’t any other damage we can’t see,” Trimper said.


Any repairs made to the rollercoaster must receive the safety approval of the state inspectors before it can reopen, Kohn said.





Also here is a

to you tube video of a news report. Nothing new in the report, but there is some good footage of the park and the boardwalk for people who have never been there.
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I had dinner with some friends in Ocean City on Thursday night and stopped by the boardwalk on my way home. It was kind of odd to see everything lit up at Trimper's while the Tidal Wave loomed over it all in darkness.


Also, this is my new favorite news blog quote on the issue:


"we were there this weekend and some of these rides are ancient...they need newer ones"


We have a saying around here: "Tourists "

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  • 4 weeks later...
I was just at Ocean City on Tuesday and Tidal Wave is back open, and running fairly well for a boomerang.


More surprising considering it is one of the oldest Boomerangs. It rides better than Sidewinder, and the Sea Serpent (atleast the last time I rode that); it's restraints are well-padded and it doesn't lurch to a halt at the end like many seem to do.

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