Family Sues SeaWorld Orlando, Witnessed Whale Trainer Death

A New Hampshire family who witnessed a SeaWorld Orlando trainer being drowned by a killer whale is suing the park.

Suzanne and Todd Connell of Somersworth, N.H. say their 10-year-old son was traumatized after witnessing the deadly attack.

Trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged underwater by her hair by the 12,000-pound whale, known as Tilikum, before a live audience in February.

The suit comes just days after federal authorities fined the theme park $75,000 for work safety violations stemming from the incident.

The family is seeking more than $15,000 in damages, with the Connell's saying their son suffered from emotional distress.

The suit describes the scene as workers tried to rescue Brancheau from the grip of the whale's mouth.

"There seemed to be no plan as to what to do to save Dawn," the lawsuit says. "The SeaWorld employees were acting in an unorganized and chaotic manner."

SeaWorld Orlando declined comment.

Photo, Milan boers, flickr
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