SeaWorld fights fine over orca death

2011-09-19 20:05

kalahari.com

Sanford - SeaWorld Orlando's policy of relying on trainers to recognise when a killer whale poses a safety threat leaves gaps that can lead to injury or death, a government attorney said on Monday in support of safety citations issued to the theme park after a trainer's death.

The park is arguing during a Monday hearing the three citations are unfounded. They were issued after trainer Dawn Brancheau was pulled underwater by an orca last year and drowned.

"Whales are large, powerful”, said John Black, an attorney for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

SeaWorld attorney Carla Gunnin told the administrative law judge hearing the case that the resort has a history of rescuing marine animals and is a leader in marine mammal research.

Administrative Law Judge Ken Welsch said his role was not to determine if whales should be held in captivity or if the theme park resort is responsible for the accident, but to decide the merit of the three OSHA citations given to SeaWorld.

Brancheau died on February 24 2010, when a killer whale named Tilikum grabbed her hair and violently dragged her underwater. The medical examiner said she drowned and suffered traumatic injuries.

Brancheau's husband was attending the hearing and was accompanied by attorneys representing the Brancheau family if OSHA chooses to show videos and photos taken during the trainer's death.

Family members have argued showing them would be a violation of privacy. A federal judge last week ruled that OSHA may use the images at the hearing if attorneys choose to do so.

Killed before

The first of the three citations by OSHA claimed SeaWorld exposed its workers to drowning hazards and the chance of being struck during interactions with killer whales.

The federal agency noted in the citation that Tilikum also was involved in the death of a trainer at a marine park in British Columbia in 1991.

The agency recommended putting physical barriers between trainers and killer whales.

The second citation said SeaWorld failed to install a stairway railing system on the stage in Shamu Stadium, where the killer whale show, Believe, took place.

The citation said a section of the stage without a railing had a 3m drop.

A third citation said SeaWorld failed to equip outdoor electrical receptacles in Shamu Stadium with weatherproof enclosures.

- AP

Read more on:    seaworld  |  us  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

DA chatting up EFF ahead of elections

The DA in Gauteng is flirting with the Economic Freedom Fighters ahead of the elections, in what could end up as a coalition of strange bedfellows.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.