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4 Dead in Rapids Ride Accident at Dreamworld Australia


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Media is now writing headlines stating that dreamworld will never re-open, Which has no truth to it. Just stirring the pot and fear which australia has right now.

Also just heard that the park will be shut for at least 2-3 more days and that how long the police crime scene will stay up as well.

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Really awful tragedy, quite a shock to everyone here.

 

^While I agree that this is a horrible accident, EIGHT PAGES of coverage seems like quite a bit of newspaper real estate and overkill. Leave it to the sensationalizing media!

 

I'd usually agree, but in the context of the Gold Coast Bulletin I think it's relatively merited. The Theme Parks are a massive part of the Gold Coast's economy and consciousness, the whole city has a genuine vested interest in what's happened so it's probably reasonable that the town's only serious local newspaper reflect that. And to be fair, that paper is mostly pictures anyway. They've also had some of the relatively more accurate reporting over the past two days, I'd recommend them as a source if anyone wants to keep close tabs on what's happened.

 

Also four deaths at once in any context in Australia is pretty rare, it's important to keep that in perspective; we're a small population after all.

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The thing with the media coverage of this tragic accident is, that thankfully Australia has not had anything like this since the fire at Luna Park back in the late 70's. Why the Australian parks are nothing special, they are a favorite holiday destination for thousands every year. This does put a huge cloud over safety at both parks.

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Looking at this explanation from the paper I'm even more convinced that the design flaw is the full length boards only being every few feet is the issue. Since they are spaced so far apart tilting one of the rafts can cause the edge of the float to tip in, thereby getting enough leverage to flip it all the way. If the design was more like the one at Knott's Berry Farm I'm guessing it would have just continued to slide under the boat instead of catching it and flipping it.

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With Dreamworld being my local park (around 1 hour away), this event has shaken me badly. A few things that people should know from my general observations about the ride, particularly how its run.

 

1. The loading platform was once a continually revolving one like most rapids, but in the early 2000's they converted it into a two station platform which doesn't revolve with the unloading platform about 3 boat lengths from the end of the lift hill.

 

2. The ride almost always is typically run with two operators. 1 for loading/master control panel and one for unloading.

 

Its been a tough day for Queenslanders and Australians as it is one of the most beloved attractions at our main park. I know it sounds silly but EVERYBODY has been on this ride.

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Looking at this explanation from the paper I'm even more convinced that the design flaw is the full length boards only being every few feet is the issue. Since they are spaced so far apart tilting one of the rafts can cause the edge of the float to tip in, thereby getting enough leverage to flip it all the way. If the design was more like the one at Knott's Berry Farm I'm guessing it would have just continued to slide under the boat instead of catching it and flipping it.

 

Everything we assumes is just pure speculation at this point. It sounds like this may have had some effect but there is also another thing to consider.

 

In this photo (I don't want to post the photo here in the feed, it's creepy) we can see that the way the raft is stuck standing straight up is due to a distance between the turning point of the conveyor belt and the next surface that the other raft is standing on. Without that "hole" in between the situation might have been different. We don't know if it was built with this distance or if something broke and caused that "hole" in which the raft is standing in. (Also without that "hole the raft may have flipped completely up-side-down or maybe not at all).

 

I don't want to speculate to much, we really need to wait and hear what the people who actually works with this concludes.

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I wonder why the conveyor belt kept going even though there was a stopped raft? I would think that there would be some kind of safety stop built in that would halt the belt in a case like this. I feel so bad for those affected by this tragedy. Hopefully the park can implement some design changes that will prevent something like this from ever happening again.

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Looking at this explanation from the paper I'm even more convinced that the design flaw is the full length boards only being every few feet is the issue. Since they are spaced so far apart tilting one of the rafts can cause the edge of the float to tip in, thereby getting enough leverage to flip it all the way. If the design was more like the one at Knott's Berry Farm I'm guessing it would have just continued to slide under the boat instead of catching it and flipping it.

 

Everything we assumes is just pure speculation at this point. It sounds like this may have had some effect but there is also another thing to consider.

 

In this photo (I don't want to post the photo here in the feed, it's creepy) we can see that the way the raft is stuck standing straight up is due to a distance between the turning point of the conveyor belt and the next surface that the other raft is standing on. Without that "hole" in between the situation might have been different. We don't know if it was built with this distance or if something broke and caused that "hole" in which the raft is standing in. (Also without that "hole the raft may have flipped completely up-side-down or maybe not at all).

 

I don't want to speculate to much, we really need to wait and hear what the people who actually works with this concludes.

 

As I said in an earlier post, my thoughts were pure speculation. I'm sure we will find out eventually what happens, if it were in the US it doesn't always work out that way though. I never did notice the detail about the guide bars under the raft not going close enough to the conveyor. Another post just before this also mentioned that the station was converted last decade to one that doesn't revolve. I know almost all the revolving ones I ever saw had the revolving mechanism and the lift hill mechanism linked - if one stopped, the other did too.

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I'm curious why an empty raft was in that location. Was it sent around the circuit empty? And if it was stuck there, why didn't anybody notice and stop the conveyor belt until it was removed?

 

Horrible tragedy.

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I'm curious why an empty raft was in that location. Was it sent around the circuit empty? And if it was stuck there, why didn't anybody notice and stop the conveyor belt until it was removed?

 

Horrible tragedy.

 

It might not have been empty when it happened. I can see a stuck boat like that being something where "let the next boat push bump it into the station" very well may be SOP, but I don't know. And then everything after that happened faster than anyone could have reacted. Water rides like that have to be treated differently as far as spacing than coasters. Stopping the lift for something that might not normally be a problem can cause other issues, like all of the boats stacking at the bottom of the lift, and then guests standing/moving around there. I don't know how this park runs that particular ride, and we don't really know anything for certain yet. If/when that CCTV footage gets released we may know more.

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After somebody mentioned that the station was converted to be non-rotating, out of curiosity I looked up a video of the ride on YouTube to see how the station actually worked, and more or less at the point where the 'stuck' boat is, there is a brake paddle (don't know what the technical term for it is) to stop the boat as the previous boat unloads and loads, so potentially this may have something to do with why the boat was stuck.

 

I can't imagine it would be a case that the boat was just being held by the brake as normal, and hadn't been released in time for the next boat to clear the lift, as I would imagine in the years it has been operating that would be the first occurrence of it, so there must be some other factor involved.

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I'm actually afraid to watch the CCTV footage if it ever gets released. I really want to see what happened but I think it will scar me for life.

Then you probably shouldn't watch it. Honestly, I plan on watching it for curiosity more than anything, since sadly this stuff doesn't really bother me. I'm sure it will cross my mind next time I'm on a rapids ride, but it won't make me any more intimidated. I'll likely be more concerned with walking around in damp britches and shoes for the rest of the day, which is why riding these rides are a rarity for me.

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I would be pretty surprised if they release the video. At best it will be blurred out because of the deaths.

They didn't blur out anything in the Smiler CCTV video that was released with the report.

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I would be pretty surprised if they release the video. At best it will be blurred out because of the deaths.

They didn't blur out anything in the Smiler CCTV video that was released with the report.

 

I guess it will depend on where the camera is and how clearly you can see everything. In the smiler video you can't really see the people on the ride very well, so can't see any of the injuries. I think if you could see the metal bars in their legs with blood dripping everywhere it would probably have been blurred in the released video.

Given that they describe the victims here as having suffered Injuries incompatible with life (usually meaning decapitations, or massive damage to vital organs such as brain or heart) I would assume it would definitely be censored in some way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It's been confirmed by the park today that the ride will not reopen and will be decommissioned.

 

That's too bad. I was thinking though, would this be the first rapids ride to be removed, other than those removed when entire parks closed (like Opryland, Astroworld)?

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I would be pretty surprised if they release the video. At best it will be blurred out because of the deaths.

They didn't blur out anything in the Smiler CCTV video that was released with the report.

I think it's a whole other thing when it shows people getting killed. Out of respect for the victims' families I wouldn't want them to release the tapes, blurred or not.

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Hersheypark didn't remove Canyon River Rapids because a raft tipped over and killed people...

The only reference to an accident on Canyon River Rapids that I can find is the following, from a random AngelFire page:

 

- 1987 -

 

On only it's 14th day after it's opening, a raft on the Canyon River Rapids flips over, injuring it's 6 passengers.

 

Quoting the book Hersheypark : The Sweetness of Success "...'two rafts jammed the trough' explained Jack Silar. 'a third raft piled into them, and one raft turned over," he said. The raft's six passengers bailed out before it capsized. They were treated for minor cuts and bruises, transported to Hershey Medical Center where they were checked and released."

 

"The park immediately did a thorough investigation. The accident occured in a curve at the entrance to an area known as Lake II, about three-quarters of the way through the ride. The investigation concluded that the accident was caused by a section of the ride's waterway that was too wide. The wide section allowed two rafts to become wedged together and plug the watercourse. The park rebuilt the waterway in that section to make it the same width as the rest of the ride. An additional operator post was added to this area and another station moved to improve routine surveillance. A new public address system was added to allow communication with guests throughout the ride."

Unless something else happened that no news articles seem to exist for, I'm not sure CRR ever killed anyone. There was the raft that tipped over at SFOT (man, they just can't catch a break) back in the late 90s - IIRC, someone did lose their life because of it.

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