Event Manager - Safety & Health Expo, Workplace Wellbeing Show, SHP, UBM

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Charlotte Geoghegan is Event Manager for Safety & Health Expo, Workplace Wellbeing Show and SHP. Prior to this she was Head of Content for the Safety & Health Expo, SHP, IFSEC, FIREX and Facilities Show.
May 12, 2017

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Drayton Manor warned of ride danger 4 years ago

Following the death of schoolgirl, Evha Jannath, a mother has claimed she warned Drayton Manor about the dangers of Splash Canyon after her ten-year old son fell on the same ride.

Vikki Treacy’s son left his seat as the boat hit the side of the ride, causing him to topple into the water. He was unable to return to the boat on his own – struggling for grip – and was pulled to safety by someone else in the boat. “Had there been another boat close it could have crushed him. He was very lucky”, she said.

It’s believed that Evha Jannath may also have fallen into the water after getting out of her seat and then hit her head. Her post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Monday 15 May 2017.

Signs, announcements and staff at Drayton Manor state that visitors must remain seated at all times.

After her son’s incident four years ago, Vikki Treacy brought the issue to the attention of a manager in the park, who apparently dismissed her concerns. According to her, the manager’s version of events was, ‘You’re not supposed to stand on the ride, and from our CCTV it looks like your child was standing’.

She also claimed ‘if they had reviewed and improved the safety of the ride when I complained perhaps this ­little girl would still be alive.’

Drayton Manor remains closed today, Friday 12 May, for the third consecutive day, while the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) investigates Tuesday’s incident. On the park’s Facebook page, a member of the public asked whether the theme park would be open as usual this weekend, to which Drayton Manor replied that they couldn’t give an update and they ask for patience at this time.

The incident comes less than two years after Merlin Entertainment’s Alton Towers saw five people seriously injured on a ride.

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Iain Mitchell
Iain Mitchell
3 years ago

Merlin ents do not operate Drayton Manor and the Smiler incident took place in June 2015, not last year as you state. Sentencing was last year.

Conal Frost
Conal Frost
3 years ago
Reply to  Iain Mitchell

Thank you Iain, the article has been amended.

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 years ago

Staggering to think that in a workplace legislation dictates that there should be some form of a restraint system to prevent persons falling e.g. when working at height; similarly in vehicles its lawful to use/have seat belts……..but a theme park, on a ride which attracts 000’s of children, a sign to say ‘do not stand’ is seen as the only precaution necessary to prevent such a tragedy!!!

Paul Clarke
Paul Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

True however I’m sure a risk assessment would show that should the vessel capsize that a restraint would be more of a hinderance and could cause more fatalities. Sadly this loss and one previously recorded accident doesn’t show the true picture that thousands of people who have been on the ride were safe

Darby Allan
Darby Allan
3 years ago

Note – As a precaution, Merlin Entertainment, who operate Drayton Manor, have closed other water rides at the park, as well as at other locations, including Legoland Windsor and Alton Towers. The incident comes less than a year after Merlin Entertainment’s ……

Please be aware that Merlin Entertainments do not operate DMP.

Conal Frost
Conal Frost
3 years ago
Reply to  Darby Allan

Thank you Darby, the article has been amended.

Johnt
Johnt
3 years ago

I agree with the comments below surely a risk assessment would indicate the need for set restraints

Helen Johnson
Helen Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Johnt

As mentioned above, the risk assessment will show that in this particular case, the addition of restraints would be likely to hinder a safe escape in the event of a raft capsizing. Announcements and staff telling people to remain seated should be enough.

Nigel Dupree
Nigel Dupree
3 years ago

Thought there was also a minimum height / age required for the ride ? Anyway, seams to be a numbers game for high volume users a bit like vaccines or DSE as, providing only a few complaints and/or fatalities the precautions or mitigation can be dismissed as low risk perhaps by comparison with the gondolas capsizing or Screen Fatigue seriously injuring user operator over the last 27 years since EU Directive launched ?

Craig
Craig
3 years ago

I was on thunder river a Thorpe Park in the eighties when a boat turned over and a boy lost an ear as result, This type of ride if not theme park rides in general seem to be getting worse for safety rather than better.