Seaworld (finally) Moving Beyond Ropes and Nets in the Safety Department?


Seaworld has really made progress on their rising pool floors, which is admirable. Unfortunatly, it took hundreds of attacks, the death of a trainer, and 2 goverment citations, both of which they fought against, to get to this point. It seems like they’ve been dragged away from their primitive safety methods kicking and screaming. Why, I wonder? What is Seaworld’s hangup with safety?

Seaworld's pool floors on November 13, 2011

The rising pool floors are designed to displace large volumes of water, bringing a trainer and whale to the surface if an attack were to happen. While it is a good idea, it won’t prevent attacks, it will only (hopefully) limit the time the trainers is in the water with the orca, and the damage done. They would still have to pry trainers out of the orca’s mouths after they are brought to the surface. Another idea being thrown around, involves spare air for trainers dragged underwater. Once again, it doesn’t prevent the attacks, and one must question why they would put something on the trainer’s person that a whale could easily latch on to. Also, how accessible would the air be on the trainer during an attack? OSHA has laid out these ideas for Seaworld and it is great that they are (finally) taking action, and I applaud them. But attacks will still happen, deaths will still happen, the root cause of these issues is waterworks. And until waterworks is taken out of the equation, I can’t help but feel like these methods are just not good enough.

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