Water parks are supposed to be a great escape for families on a hot summer day, but sometimes accidents can happen. Fun filled splashing can quickly become fatal when something goes wrong, including:
- Ride malfunctions,
- Restraint problems,
- Improper riding,
- Freak accidents.
Safety is often the number one priority of any water park with each ride and attraction undergoing daily inspection before the park opens. However, even with meticulous maintenance, the unexpected can happen.
Here are 10 of the most deadliest water park accidents ever.
10. Oakwood Theme Park Hydro Accident. On what has been deemed as “Europe’s fastest and wettest” water ride, 16-year-old Hayley Williams ended up falling 100 ft to hear death after her seat guard wasn’t properly secured.
Williams’ family successfully sued the Pembrokeshire park and were awarded compensation as it was determined that park staff hadn’t properly maintained the seatbelts and guard rails.
9. Action Park Water Fatalities. This New Jersey park has been referred to as the most dangerous water park ever considering in less than a decade, the park was responsible for six fatalities.
The park had a notorious reputation for both the poor maintenance and incoherent staff. It was finally forced to close in 1996 after numerous drownings, a heart attack, an electrocution, and even an employee death from his Alpine Slide jumping off the track.
8. Waterworld, USA. The Concord, California water park saw a tragic accident unfold in 1997 after 33 teenagers, who were celebrating a graduation party, tried to ride a slide all at once.
It’s reported that the slide experienced weight three times greater than what it was designed for and ended up collapsing, resulting in 32 injuries and the death of an 18-year-old girl.
7. Middlemoor Waterpark. This U.K. park featured a medieval attraction called the “human trebuchet,” which catapulted guests more than 75 feet into the air into a free-standing net held up between two poles.
In 2002, an Oxford student died when the safety net failed to catch him. The park has since removed the attraction.
6. Discovery Cove. A sister park of SeaWorld Orlando, this amusement park allows guests to interact with marine life including bottlenose dolphins.
In 2009, one man died after accidentally cutting his toe on coral while swimming with fish. He was a hemophiliac and was diagnosed with septic shock and organ failure.
5. Adventure Island Tampa Bay. In 2011, a heroic lifeguard ended up dying after he was trying to warn riders to get away from a 700 ft tall slide during an aggressive storm.
The 21-year-old was on top of the waterslide to get the attention of the park attendees when he was struck by lightning. No injuries to any of the other guests were reported.
4. Siam Park. This Thailand amusement park saw a tragic scene in 2007 after one woman was killed and five others were injured while riding a flume ride.
The flume coaster ended up falling from the top of the lift hill 66 ft to the ground. Park management stated that the accident was due to a drop in electric power, which caused the water pump to fail.
3. Thunder River Rapids Ride. A popular ride at Australia’s Dreamworld was closed down and is now set to be demolished after a tragic accident in 2016 that claimed the lives of four patrons on the ride.
Two men and two women were killed after their raft hit another stopped raft and caused it to flip. It’s believed that the two men died from being crushed underneath the raft and the women were trapped underneath the conveyor belt.
2. Schlitterbahn Water Park. This Kansas City amusement park was home to the world’s tallest water slide, which was permanently shut down after the tragic death of a 10-year-old boy.
Caleb Schwab was plummeting down the 168 ft slide in a raft with two other women, but it ended up breaking Caleb’s neck with witnesses stating that he was decapitated by the ride.
1. Formosa Fun Coast explosion. A Taiwan water park saw a tragic accident due to a dust explosion during a “Color Play” party. The flammable starch-based powder caused an explosive fire that caused fifteen deaths.
Considered the “worst incident of mass injury ever in New Taipei,” 508 people were injured and 199 left in critical condition.