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Oakwood Discussion

What does this statement (in bold) actually mean?

A Spokesperson for Oakwood Theme Park said: “During operation today, our drop tower ride Bounce experienced a programmed Emergency Stop Procedure in response to the ride drop height during a guest cycle. The stoppage which resulted in the passenger gondola stopping in the ride brakes was attended to by our park team and the ride was lowered to the ground where guests were able to disembark.

It went too high? Too low?
This is really not good, and what is more concerning is that something very similar appears to have happened a few weeks ago.

In the X post shared by @Matt N on 25 June, Dom mentions that Bounce is closed indefinitely due to an "operational incident". In the comments a user called "Scenario." mentions that they were involved in that incident.

@Relife I’m guessing that these are the tweets you’re referring to?:

In summary:
  • Bounce is closed indefinitely due to an “operational incident”.
  • Spooky 3D renovations have seemingly been abandoned.
  • Creepy Crawler is still half disassembled, as it was at the start of the season.
  • Drenched is still closed.
  • Speed and Megafobia both suffered downtime.
I must admit that these accounts are not a ringing endorsement of Oakwood right now.

A trip there wasn’t on the immediate agenda, but a small part of me keeps wondering if I should go and visit and try the retracked Megafobia while the park is still here… as things don’t look terribly good at Oakwood right now.

The problem is, though, that the public transport situation in that region gives me a headache every time I look into it…

In Scenario's own post on 17 June, they describe the harrowing incident in detail; it seems to be the exact same issue with the tower dropping at full speed before being forced to make an emergency stop. This post mentions a couple of whiplash injuries:

From: https://x.com/Scenario710/status/1802760544471904442
(description continues in the comments)

What I don't understand is why Bounce was reopened so soon after that incident, only for this to happen again less than a month later?

I really don't have a lot of confidence in the safety standards of this park right now.
What I don't understand is why Bounce was reopened so soon after that incident, only for this to happen again less than a month later?

Lots of rides estop all the time and are usually good to go after a reset. Sounds like the fail safe failed safe as it is designed to do. Lots of estops involve a sharp or sudden deceleration with acceptable but uncomfortable parameters.

Without knowing the cause of the estop there's nothing inherently wrong or concerning about it being swiftly reopened.
I'm surprised that The Bounce suddenly seems to have started playing up given that it wasn't long refurbished. I feel like it reopened from that big refurbishment only a year or two ago, if I'm remembering rightly?
Don't think this could of happened at a worse time for Oakwood. Especially if another ride ends up SBNO for the rest of the season, sounds like the safety features kicked it but still not good publicity.
I think that’s the end of Oakwood. The place has gone so downhill and another news report on an incident on one of their rides will put even more people off visiting.

I was on bounce on the last year before it closed for refurbishment and it was doing e stops them while I was on it.

The ride would shoot up to the top, sometime e stop as it hit the top with a loud sudden clunk and then be lowered slowly, or sometimes during a decent. It was quite jarring and unsettling when on it. Did it several times during the day but stayed open. After going on it twice and both times doing this, I didn’t go on it again. Infact that was my last ever visit to the park as I felt the place was unsafe.

I also saw ride ops letting under height kids go on speed because they didn’t want hassle from the parents (their words). Place needs to close before there is another fatality.
The park has added a statement on their website:
During early afternoon on Wednesday 10th July, our drop tower ride Bounce experienced an emergency stop (e-stop) procedure during guest operation. Like all our rides, Bounce monitors key control parameters during each ride cycle. Should any of these parameters fall out of their programmed range, an e-stop activation is the programmed and expected outcome.

Daily testing of e-stop procedures is performed on all of our rides as part of our pre-opening inspection protocols. We also test daily our procedures to recover from an e-stop, which in the case of Bounce, is the manual controlled lowering of the passenger gondola from the ride brakes to the ground. This process is completed by our ride engineering team only.

The travel of the Bounce passenger gondola is regulated by several factors. Unlike some other similar rides, Bounce is not a ‘free fall tower’. The passenger gondola is permanently connected to large steel cables of a set length, which in turn ensures both a maximum and minimum height of travel. Large shock absorbers installed on the ride, provide a cushion at the highest and lowest sections of travel. Rubber bumpers below the passenger gondola provide a definitive stop point.

Height and position are monitored parameters of the ride, and when the ride system identified an event outside the control parameters on a ride cycle yesterday afternoon, an e-stop procedure was activated, bringing the ride to an immediate stop within the braking zone, as expected and as programmed in the control system.

Our ride engineering team attended the ride immediately, and completed the manual controlled lowering procedure enabling all guests to disembark. A small number of guests complained of minor lower back pain after disembarking the ride, which we believe to be as a direct result of the e-stop braking. Assistance was provided by our onsite team of first aiders, and most guests continued their day at Oakwood Theme Park.

As is always the case in such an occurrence, we have consulted with the ride control system manufacturer, who are attending site today. We have temporarily closed Bounce to enable them to complete their works, and to aid our internal investigation. Our other rides remain open as planned.
As sad as it is to see Oakwood quiet especially at this time of year, this situation can't have helped future visitor numbers.
The media are also scaremongering the public and keep referring to past incidents where a life was lost - something that infuriates me because it isn't fair on her family.
I'm glad Oakwood have released this blog now because hopefully it'll clear up some mis reporting!
The media are also scaremongering the public and keep referring to past incidents where a life was lost - something that infuriates me because it isn't fair on her family.
Whilst there may be an element of scaremongering to some press reporting it’s a sad fact that there have been accidents at the park. Whilst the Hydro/Drenched fatal incident was 20 years ago I don’t think it’s unfair to mention it because unfortunately it is something that did happen and the park was fined for it.

But of more relevant concern though is the fact that less than two years ago the park had a coaster derail and a guest was ejected from a ride. Whilst the Bounce incident wasn’t as serious it’s still not a good look for a park to have two incidents occur within in a relatively short space of time (even if it turns out that whatever happened to Bounce was something out of their control) and the press are correct to mention the Treetops incident when reporting on the Bounce incident in order to give people some background. I think that the statement the park put out today, along with the video footage, was a very responsible and open way to deal with it.
Just on Treetops, no fault was found by HSE.
That was a bit of a strange one wasn't it. After examing the ride HSE deemed that the park were not to blame and said "we could not identify any fault which might have caused the incident and no further HSE action will be taken" but clearly a rider should not be getting ejected from a rollercoaster which is what happened. It just felt like it was left a bit up in the air as to what caused the incident.
How would the guest have caused the ride to derail, though? That’s the part I don’t understand.
It sounds like the ride has an issue (it e-stops randomly or suspiciously), but it does e-stop as it is designed to, and unfortunately, it's an unpleasant e-stop. It's no different from slamming the brakes on your car in an emergency, really (except your car is slamming those brakes for you out of the blue, maybe get that checked out).

Oakwood has been very transparent with their statement (Merlin could never), and they've handled it well.

It's unfortunate, but I feel this story has been overinflated for the sake of clicks for news sites. In fact, they have failed at their job, as none have mentioned this has happened on Bounce multiple times, because mentioning an incident from 20 years ago sounds scarier and gets you more clicks.
It seems like the media want to put parks out of business. This was a standard e-stop, the ride did exactly what it was meant to do.