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Water slide patrons rescued by officer during accident

A total of 11 patrons of a water slide attraction at a water park were temporarily trapped inside an inner liner. The accident occurred inside a tunnel slide when its vinyl liner ruptured, creating a gap between the slide and the liner. An off-duty law enforcement officer heroically came to the patrons' aid, and took control of the chaotic situation, likely saving many from far more serious injuries. Despite his efforts, however, five of the patrons had to be rushed to the hospital by emergency responders.

With the popularity of water parks, it is very possible that people in Ohio are also at risk for such injuries. An investigative report on the incident says that the off-duty officer, among other actions, assisted a 13-year-old boy in extricating him from the tunnel where he and other patrons were trapped by the mishap. He then rushed to alert the water park's lifeguards to the dangerous situation. Investigators stated that the lifeguards were slow to comprehend the seriousness of the accident or to respond to the swimmers' dilemma with rescue efforts.

Patrons trapped in the tunnel were at serious risk of drowning had the officer not helped them to escape. Ultimately, one of the lifeguards and the off-duty officer entered the tunnel and cut the patrons free by using a knife to slice back the lining that had ruptured. The off-duty officer also convinced the other lifeguard to shut off the water that was pouring from the top of the ride. The water was, according to investigators, only finally shut off some 20 minutes after the accident occurred, at a time when most of the patrons were already rescued.

These people, much like anyone from Ohio who is injured at a water park, can sue the owners of the facility for their medical bills in a premises liability lawsuit. No one should have to fear being injured while visiting a public place like a water park.

Source: The New Jersey Star-Ledger, "Off-duty Bergen County Sheriff's officer credited with saving patrons during Mountain Creek water slide incident," S.P. Sullivan, Aug. 24, 2012

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