Raging Waters Puts Safety Second

I come from a long line of thrill seekers.  I rode my first roller coaster at age four.  My eldest son rode his first roller coaster at four and a half years old.  Roller coasters, water parks, haunted houses… it’s all par for the course in our family.  That’s why we were so excited to ride the new Bombs Away water slide at Raging Waters.

Turns out that Bombs Away was less about thrill-seeking and more about injury-making.

Bombs Away is a new water slide at Raging Waters San Jose that includes a free fall drop.  You stand in a capsule and have a two story drop (with a steep incline).   My son and his friend did love the ride, but both ended up with a couple of bumps and bruises.  The lifeguard asked my dad to put his hands behind his head before he dropped.  My father’s wingspan was wider than the opening, causing my dad’s elbow to hit the side of the capsule when the floor dropped; causing a major gash on his elbow.

When I was talking to my swim mom-friends, it turns out that the cabana team field trip to Raging Waters resulted in lots of other injuries on the ride.  One child had a concussion after hitting his head on the capsule.  The ride is designed where the floor drops out from underneath you.  The kid’s reaction was to tense up and throw his head and arms back to brace for a fall.  Other kids complained of hitting their backs on the slide.  Eventually the coaches asked for the kids to just avoid the ride and go on other water slides instead.

I love that Raging Waters tried to create an extreme thrill ride.  But I am very concerned that they put thrill-seeking ahead of safety.

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  1. July 16, 2012
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