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Seaworld introduces safety vest

SeaWorld Orca Trainers Begin Using Safety Vests

Four years after an orca trainer was drowned by a killer whale, SeaWorld has introduced a new safety vest for trainers.

Starting Monday, any trainer working with an orca must wear a five-pound nylon vest that can be easily inflated and provide oxygen in case of an emergency.

The vests apparently took over three years to develop.

The safety vests are designed to give at-risk trainers a few extra minutes of breathing until emergency services can arrive.

Minutes that could have saved the life of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was dragged underwater and dismembered by a massive killer whale named Tilikum back in 2010.

Her death prompted an investigation that found that SeaWorld violated a federal workplace safety law, and became the subject of the widely popular 2013 documentary "Blackfish."

SeaWorld's curator of animal training said that the court ruling and documentary are not causes for the new vests, and that the timing of the new safety devices is purely coincidental.

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petschetx April 29 2014 at 6:18 PM

Why not educate people about orca whales and place them back in the ocean where they belong?

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1 reply
rmommaof3 petschetx April 29 2014 at 6:40 PM

Captive whales cannot survive in the ocean. IT is a sad but true fact. Just end the breeding program.

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Diva Deluxe L April 29 2014 at 8:37 PM

I say this is B.S. !! A vest to save trainers?!! Why not get bigger holding pens where the whales can swim as much as they want and not in a circle. They need more room. Sea World has the money to do this. If the public wanted to change the holding policies and make more room all that is needed is a post card with the words Bigger Pens Now! sent to Sea World. Change will only come when the public demands it.

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1 reply
sdangdan Diva Deluxe L April 30 2014 at 12:40 AM

Just put the trainers in the ocean with the whales, then no pens needed....

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llpub April 29 2014 at 4:59 PM

Wonder how well that Vest would have helped her during the dismemberment. Tragic what happend to the trainer, BUT Leave the wild animals in the wild.

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dwtomczyk April 29 2014 at 4:48 PM

an orca is a killer wale. wonder how they got that name?

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2 replies
blaxican dwtomczyk April 29 2014 at 4:55 PM

It didn't get the name for killing humans. There is no known/reported case of killer whale attack on a human In the wild... Only the ones in captivity.

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TAMI dwtomczyk April 29 2014 at 5:20 PM

again their has been NO known attacks on humans in the wild... #truth

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1 reply
sunset517 TAMI April 29 2014 at 5:32 PM

That's because they live in ice-cold water where humans don't swim

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donnsuki22 April 29 2014 at 4:32 PM

Is anyone that surprised what we here in the good ole USA will do for money? These magnificent creatures must be repatriated to their home, they are begging us, but we turn a deaf ear for the unholy dollar. Let's prove the world wrong and set the creatures free.

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chaosseed April 29 2014 at 9:02 PM

.......yep not sure how that snazzy little vest is going to keep someone from being dismembered by a killer whale....

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Liebchken April 29 2014 at 4:29 PM

Talk about the ELEPHANT in the room.............................denial.

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leslasd April 29 2014 at 4:28 PM

This is a joke...a nylon safety vest is going to keep someone from being crushed and dismembered by a Killer Whale....WTF, these people are delusional!!!

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mark marcum April 29 2014 at 4:26 PM

how about releasing these creatures to the ocean where they belong?

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2 replies
Diana mark marcum April 29 2014 at 4:29 PM

Absolutely. Keeping them in a tank is nothing more than cruelty and abuse, no wonder the whale got mad. He was probably suffering from post traumatic distress.

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cmcclarty mark marcum April 29 2014 at 4:31 PM

I agree!

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wumper2u2 April 29 2014 at 4:20 PM

More OSHA foolishness. Use of this vest does NOT prevent dismemberment, does it OSHA? Just more needless federal regulations that go far past being reasonable. Just add another dollar to the ticket prices and add on the cost to the american public for no benefit. Just let me tell you how a REALLY feel about this. (Rant over). Sorry for the terrible way the victim died.

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1 reply
blaxican wumper2u2 April 29 2014 at 5:00 PM

Osha has been trying for years to keep the Orcas and the trainers separate. This is a SeaWorld grand idea not OSHA!!!!!

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