Drayton Manor Park - Splash Canyon Incident

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Towerslover, 9th May 2017.

  1. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    What has happened is terrible and my thoughts go out to the family, friends and the staff

    Let's put things into perspective, you are many more times more likely to fall out of your bed and die during the night than fall out of a themepark ride, but I can't see them fitting seat belts to our beds anytime in the foreseeable future
     
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  2. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    The simple solution is make the side of the raft too high for it to actually be possible to fall out,with a door entry rather than a gap, if you really wanted to go one step further you could have sensors in the seats that when someone stands up, an announcement is made to the effect of sit back down, both are relatively simple, if not quick solutions.

    Or you could just ban kids from the ride without adult supervision, and with a school trip, ensure the adults actually know the do's and don'ts, last time I did a school trip to a park every adult was given a double sided sheet of A4 with a list of things to do, and not to do, we even had instructions not to go to certain rides, but then the school had been organising trips to the park for decades and had a well rehearsed procedure.

    It's a shame to see people crawling out the woodwork clamouring for their 15 minutes of fame and Drayton Annual Passholder slagging off the park saying how dangerous the ride is, it's a water rapids ride, of course there's risk.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11th May 2017
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  3. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    Reading most of these comments it seems the press are to blame for this...

    I've not seen much false reporting so far, even reading most of that daily mail article whats written actually seems pretty accurate? Am I Missing something?
     
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  4. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I think they should say anyone under the height of 1.4m can only ride with a adult over 18. With a minimum height still set at 0.9.
    Paultons park have the right idea with a minimum height and age for each ride.
    Seat beats and covering will work but the loading time will take ages as they will have to stop the platform and each person will have to be checked if there got there belt on.
     
  5. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    If it wasn
    The only issue I have with the press is that they keep bringing Alton into it.

    Right after the incident happened I was watching Sky News and every time they cut to the story they opened with "a Staffordshire based Theme Park". While this is not inaccurate the most well known Staffadshire Park is Along Towers, and they were clearly trying to spark reminders of the Smiler incident. Eventually they tweaked the headline to "Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire" but only after most people had realised it wasn't Alton.

    Also a few of the papers started judging the girl based on her ethnicity, but I deliberately ignored those articles.
     
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  6. jmc

    jmc TowersStreet Member

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    Now the papers are reporting that The Smiler victims are paying tribute to the young girl.

    Sigh.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    This post just instantly makes me think of this cartoon :p

    [​IMG]

    To be fair, retro-fitting higher walls isn't exactly an easy job. Retrofitting electrical systems though, all IP-rated, running at a max of 24V (being a water ride), with audio that will cope with constant splashing, on batteries that'll last a full summer's day, and then somehow implementing a charging solution across the turntable/lift/boat storage area for overnight... not a feasible task.
     
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  8. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    I do get your point about supplying power (especially considering it's a water ride lol) but I'll just say my greenhouse has a watering system that will run off the battery for about 3 months in between charges, this includes the four temperature and moisture sensors, an arduino controller, two water pumps and two rtc's. Every 15 minutes the arduino will monitor the temperature and moisture and decide which section and for how long the soil is watered for, so retrofitting a switch in a seat and monitoring it every few seconds and programming an announcement is no more complicated than probably 15 lines of code, a sensor, a speaker and a battery.

    I do get your point totally, but it's far from impossible.

    As for the boat sides, I don't know how they are constructed but if it is a case of body being bolted onto the chassis, then as the bodies are plastic, it's not inconceivable that to achieve what I sugested new bodies are produced from new moulds and simply bolted in place of the old bodies.

    As I said I'm not disagreeing with your sentiments, but sometimes things are only complicated and difficult as you want them to be.
     
  9. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Merlin Entertainments, which runs Legoland and Alton Towers, said it had closed the following rides:
    • Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers
    • Legoland Windsor's Vikings River Splash
    • Thorpe Park's Rumba Rapids
    A spokesperson said that on learning of Tuesday's fatal fall at Drayton Manor, Merlin Entertainments shut the rides "with immediate effect" on a "precautionary basis".

    On Thursday, the company did not say when the attractions would reopen, but the spokesperson added the situation would be "reviewed".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-39884216
     
  10. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    Ironically you actually over-complicate this a fair bit - no need for an arduino or anything similar, rather a simple MP3 soundstore (like a Golding DSU500), with built in triggers, would do the job. If we ignore the power issue, finding a decent waterproof (indeed, splash and soak-proof) speaker would be interesting, as would the installation of sensors on seats which are essentially solid fiberglass. Plus getting any such installation approved by the independent ADIPS inspector.
     
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  11. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    It would not be hard to get a waterproof and splash proof speaker. Excalibur at Drayton used to have an onboard car battery powered MP3 system and audio system, where audio triggers would be triggered by points on the track. Picked up by a sensor on the boat passing a sensor on a pole in the water. You could not have set trough side trigger points on a ride like this though, due to various locations and orientations of boats as they pass.

    The system was not great on Excalibur to be fair, and that would have been a far easier ride to implement on due to it being a tow boat ride, where you could always guarantee the exact location and orientation of the boats. Not forgetting the speakers were relatively protected from water and the weather. Even still the system worked intermittently at best.

    A far easier and more reliable solution would be to have pressure sensors on seats that when triggered send out a low powered RF signal, which is then picked up by receivers track side, triggering static audio speakers track side. The battery used to power a simple RF signal and pressure sensors could last months and maybe even a season.

    An even simpler solution would be to up the amount of track side cameras and monitor the cameras more vigrously. Giving either a pre recorded or a member of staff announcement out the PA system.
     
    Last edited: 11th May 2017
  12. monkeyboy

    monkeyboy TowersStreet Member

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    So can someone clarify what happens when someone does fall in? Presumably the estop button is pressed as in all other rides??

    How long does it take the whole circuit to stop flowing as rapids if you see what I mean?
     
  13. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Although I admire the creativeness in this thread, it sounds like a nightmare for a park that struggles to open its rides, let alone ensure that 120+ seats are functioning every day.

    I think people will always stand on rides where they are not restrained. I'm not convinced a speak telling you to sit will work... Therefore, I suggest the effort needs to be on reducing the risk when people do stand.

    It's a solved problem, really...

    [​IMG]

    It depends where you are on the course. In its simplest form, a rapids ride is essentially water being allowed to flow down a hill, before it's pumped back to the top and the process is repeated. Certain areas of those rides have standing water, even when the pumps aren't flowing - if they are lower, or deeper than the rest of the channel.
     
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  14. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    The E-stop is not always pressed right away on rapids, the boats would be stopped from leaving the station first. If boats are quite early into the ride when the pumps are shut down, there is a small risk of boats capsizing over the logs used to create the rapids. Once boats have got a certain way around the track the E-stop can be pressed without any risk of boats capsizing.

    Draytons rapids take about 15 mins from pump switch off to total drainge of 80% of the trough. As the water collects at the low point of the ride, the ride never fully drains. However after probably 5 or so minuites the water flow rate is quite signigantly reduced across most of the ride. Longer rapids, such as Altons will take longer to drain.
     
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  15. TheBolt

    TheBolt TowersStreet Member

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    Its a sign of how safe anything is that it merits a lot of news coverage when something goes wrong. Car crashes get little attention, plane crashes...
     
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  16. AirFAN

    AirFAN TowersStreet Member

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    I find it strange how precious people are about the ride in it's current form (I.e. without restraints). Since this incident has happened I've thought how insane it is that something like this hasn't happened sooner.

    When dealing with the general public you can not assume everyone will do as they're told,. Simply having signs stating riders should remain seated at all times doesn't cut it - regardless of how many there are. An accident like this should not be allowed to happen.

    I would be extremely shocked if rides of this nature aren't retrofitted with lap belts - in my opinion they need them.

    I'm actually bewildered that they don't have them.
     
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  17. Towerslover

    Towerslover TowersStreet Member

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    I was at towers for scarefest last year on travellers day and then I heard announcements on the rapids reminding people to remain seated which I'd never heard before - didn't seem to discourage many people though.
     
  18. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Yes, they are a good idea, but:

    a- they could be undone during the ride.

    b- they would increase loading and waiting times, and the platform would have to be stopped in order for them to be checked.

    But more importantly:

    c- they would impede riders escaping if boats capsized, and would be dangerous.

    I think the safest and most practical solution would be to somehow fit the boats with gates, or even replace the boats with newer ones that have gates (like the one in the photo above, but smaller), however either of those would be very expensive, although it would be worth it.
     
  19. AndrewH

    AndrewH TowersStreet Member

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    What's life without a little risk though? Yes what happened was tragic but you can't make everything 100% safe.

    At my work we were told before we started not to lift anything that was too heavy and are told everytime we get trained. If I injure myself through lifting at work then it would be deemed my fault because I was told not to. The same applies here. Everyone is told not to stand up so when someone goes against that then they don't have a leg to stand on.

    Yet everyone seems to think theme parks are this blissful oasis in a mystical land where it is impossible to get hurt to the point where Merlin felt it necessary to fence off some rocks to stop people climbing incase they hurt themselves! Think about that let it sink in how ridiculous that is.

    We need to stop heading towards (if we're not already there) the American sueing culture. People need to take some responsibility for there actions.
     
  20. themeparkfan

    themeparkfan TowersStreet Member

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    I understand that this is very very sad and I feel for the family and my thoughts go out to them. However this incident happened at Drayton Manor and they need to investigate what happened and prevent this from happening again at their park. As far as I know there hasn't been an incident at any merlin park with these rides (correct me if I'm wrong ) so why do they have to close them indefinitely? The cynic in me worries that they are jumping on it to save operating costs but can play the PR card to look good publicly. If the safety of these rides is in question they need to be ALL closed indefinitely across UK , Europe and the whole world or is it just the UK that want to investigate further?

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