SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
November 29, 2006
Trainer hurt in Shamu show, escapes serious injury
A 33-year-old trainer was injured Wednesday evening after being pinned down in the Shamu tank at SeaWorld (San Diego) during a performance with the killer whale, officials said.
The extent of the man's injuries was unknown but a SeaWorld official later said the trainer was not seriously hurt. A SeaWorld representative said the trainer was alert and conscious when paramedics took him to UCSD Medical Center.
SeaWorld officials called the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department at 5 p.m., requesting an ambulance for the trainer, fire spokesman Maurice Luque said.
A few minutes later, park officials asked for Fire Department divers.
Luque said that request was canceled about 5:15 p.m., after park employees got the trainer out themselves. The trainer was performing with the killer whale in front of an audience at the time.
The Fire Department was called to Sea World recently on a similar report that a killer whale had pinned a trainer in the tank. Luque did not have details about the incident.
In 1987, a trainer was critically injured when one of two killer whales performing at the same time leapt out of the water and landed on a trainer who was riding the other orca. The trainer survived a crushed pelvis, hip, and leg and broken ribs.