March 2021 Monthly Ride Report Recap

The pandemic-suppressed operation of amusement attractions has in turn suppressed the occurrence of patron injuries, as reflected in media coverage. There were three (3) reports recorded and recapped, as well as one occurrence from a prior period that had not previously been recapped.

Last update 13 September 2021.

06 March 2021 at American Dream waterpark pool (US New Jersey), a child at risk of drowning was revived. Link 

27 March 2021, a a 13 year old boy drowned in “Riolajante”, a lazy river at Xenses waterpark in Mexico. Initial reporting presented the case as a drowning, but subsequent reporting on the deliberations about liability elaborated that the patron had been using the attraction and became sucked into a drain in the catch pool when a grate over the opening had been left off following maintenance. The patron’s father, a cardiologist, managed to pull the boy away from the drain and performed resuscitation but the boy did not survive the submersion. Link | Link | Link | Link | Link | Link

29 March 2021, a rider on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster (US Tennessee) was ejected from the cart while in motion. Mountain coasters involve carts that descend a mountain-terrain-following track by gravity, with patron manual controls used to slow or stop the cart (thus we classify as patron-directed here). Link | Link | Link

Occurrence in prior periods

In addition, media reports often cover occurrences from previous periods, in connection with updates on litigation.

In March, a 2019 fatal ejection from a Super Sizzler horizontally revolving ride in New Jersey was in the news as the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. A 10 year old girl was ejected and, following the ejection, was struck by the moving ride. In New Jersey, the manufacturer-recommended retrofit seat belt is not required, as it is in other jurisdictions. The Sizzler’s integrated lap bar leaves space for slender riders to rise up in the seat, exposing them to lateral ejection forces. The news item reports that the ride was originally marketed as a thrill ride for teens and older, but later issued a 48″ height requirement, rescinding a requirement for companion supervision for age 11 and under. Link

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About Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (, and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.