Flume rides are another one of those rides that can seem safe and harmless, but can cause serious injury. Flume rides are a blast for kids and adults of all ages. You wait in line, filled with anticipation, load 4 or 5 people into a log-looking float, and fly down a steep hill, while getting your picture taken. This ride is a classic, and usually operates with no trouble at all. Just like other rides, however, when there is an error or mistake, fun can turn to trouble very quickly.
In 2016 at the amusement park Dreamworld, two children were thrown out of their flume after sliding down the slope, and got stuck to the conveyor belt. Luckily the two girls were able to release themselves from the belt, before the situation got worse. This incident may have occurred for several reasons. The employees may have allowed children who were too small to ride, the employees may have not been paying attention, or there could have been a malfunction with any of the parts on the ride.
Some injuries that can occur from flume rides include:
- Lacerations and bruises
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Concussion and other traumatic brain injuries
- Heart attack
- Slip and falls in the area around flume rides from excess water on the ground
These injuries mentioned above can be a result of any number of things. First, the log flumes are designed to hold several people in a single file order, or lined up facing each others’ backs. With this positioning, along with the steep, sloped drop, the riders can end up falling into the person in front of them during the drop or at the bottom.
Next, another issue arises with safety belts. Often these rides do not have safety belts and riders can fall forward and out of the ride, the person in front can slide forward and underneath the front of the ride, and riders have even greater chance of knocking into each other.
Also, the weight distribution must have the smallest person in the front and biggest in the back, allowing the possibility of the smallest person receiving the greatest impact of the drop at the bottom and collisions.
Lastly, injuries such as whiplash and concussion are possible on flume rides. Whiplash is common due to the sudden, steep drop and quick twists and turns throughout the ride. Concussion and other traumatic injuries are common in collisions with other people or parts of the ride.
Some safety precautions that you can take to be safer and more prepared include:
- Familiarize yourself with where safety personnel are located along the ride
- Always fasten any safety belts and straps on the ride
- Sit with your back touching your seat
- Keep all limbs inside the ride
- Take all items out of your pockets and tie up long hair
- Hold onto the railing or keep hands and arms inside the ride
- Do not look backwards or make sudden movements
It is important to remember that these injuries are not very common, however, being aware that they are possible and how they happen can help you and your loved ones be more prepared for riding on a flume ride. If you or someone you know does suffer an injury from a flume ride, immediately seek safety personnel and keep them still if they appear to be suffering from a back, neck, or head injury. After seeking medical attention, call and speak with an attorney about the accident.