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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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mark marcum April 29 2014 at 4:26 PM

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

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
cmcclarty mark marcum April 29 2014 at 4:31 PM

I agree!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
tfarris2 April 29 2014 at 3:26 PM

SeaWorld should release their marine animals and become a rescue only organization. They could allow tours for the public to see how they are treating sick and injured marine animals and preparing them to be released when they recover.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
ronniec57 tfarris2 April 29 2014 at 4:18 PM

Great idea !

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ih8intrnet April 29 2014 at 3:32 PM

"Now they'll make a cool POPPING sound on the first bite!" commented one of the captive Orcas.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
tsr5112 April 29 2014 at 3:16 PM

What are they going to do to stop that whole "dismembering" thing?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
allenconsulting April 29 2014 at 3:34 PM

Don't support Sea World..they are cruel and inhumane to people and the animals

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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!!!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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!!!!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Velocity105 April 29 2014 at 3:41 PM

Those whales are not stupid, they will take those vests apart when they realize their value to humans.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Liebchken April 29 2014 at 4:29 PM

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

Flag Reply +3 rate up
morleyz April 29 2014 at 3:21 PM

This vest will not save anyone from being dismembered. Do not support sea world. Support finding a way to release these whales back into the wild.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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