We all love a great day out with our family or friends. Whether it’s a relaxing stroll around a zoo or a park, or getting a much needed adrenaline fix at a funfair, a theme park or a water park.
But sadly, as top attractions bid to stay ‘top attractions’, there are more and more reports of serious accidents happening and more and more people are sustaining serious injuries in the name of fun.
Thankfully, in many countries, the safety standards are very high. However, serious accidents do happen.
This was particularly brought into the public eye in June 2015, with the tragic events on the Smiler Ride at Alton Towers in the UK. Four people suffered serious injuries – two of whom required amputation of their legs – when the carriage they were riding in smashed into another carriage on the rails.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that although there were no faults with the ride itself, there were failings with the arrangements for making the ride safe, resulting in the crash occurring. Alton Towers admitted liability and were fined £5 million by the HSE.
In October of this year, two women and two men died in an accident at the Dreamworld theme park in Australia when their raft on the Thunder River Rapids flipped over because of a ‘malfunction’.
In a similar type of accident, a UK grandmother was lucky to have survived her ordeal when she was one of four people thrown from a raft on the Tornado water slide at the Center Parcs, Sub Tropical Swimming Paradise in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire.
The 67-year-old sustained serious injuries to her neck, ankle, back, chest and leg. She also had ongoing psychological injuries.
Center Parcs also admitted liability for the accident and a HSE investigation found the ride was dangerous.
Specialist serious injury solicitors, CFG Law, have been assisting with the compensation claim.
Sabrina Lawlor of CFG Law said: “This was a traumatic event.”
“We are pleased that the HSE have taken this incident very seriously. A thorough investigation has now raised a number of concerns such as the weight limit on the tubes not being monitored.
“Questions have been raised in relation to the risk assessments undertaken by Center Parcs in relation to the Tornado water slide especially as this was the second serious injury within a matter of months.”
Earlier this year, video footage showed a 16-year-old being thrown from a rubber ring and cracking her head on the same ride. She was rushed to hospital on a spinal board and was lucky to escape with just a bruised spine rather than a much more serious injury.
Serious injuries on funfair rides are thankfully very rare, however there are measures we can take to avoid serious accidents and ensure the safety of ourselves, friends and families when visiting funfairs, theme parks, water parks and other top attractions.
Be aware of what’s going on around you as these are usually very big places with large crowds.
Watch out for any restrictions as these are usually imposed for safety reasons.
Keep an eye out for any warning signs, they should not be ignored and are there to keep you safe.
Don’t assume that just because a ride looks suitable for you that it is.
Always watch children as they can easily get lost or even trampled on in large crowds.
And please, don’t cut in front of people waiting in queues, as this is a sure fire way of starting an argument, or even a fight!