Water park users ‘not at risk’

Tauranga harbour master Peter Buell is satisfied users of Water World on The Strand aren’t at risk after an incident on Sunday afternoon. File photo.

Management at an inflatable fun park on Tauranga Harbour are downplaying a Sunday afternoon incident in which a nine-year-old boy became trapped under part of the facility.

The boy, who was playing on the Water World activity course, fell into the water at around 3.30pm.

He was taken by the current underneath another part of the course, and was plucked from the water by a lifeguard after emerging from the other side.

It’s understood the boy was taken to Tauranga Hospital by his parents, where he was kept in overnight.

Park manager Jasmyn Hawira says both WorkSafe and the Tauranga Harbour Master’s office were alerted to what had happened, had investigated, and had given them the all clear.

"The lifeguard got to him straight away. He coughed up a bit of water, but he was fine... He wouldn’t have been under the water for anything more than 10 seconds."

The boy was wearing a lifejacket at the time and the entire incident was captured on close-circuit cameras.

Jasmyn says she and park owner Kelvin Travers were dismayed the situation had been mis-reported by some media.

"WorkSafe and the harbour master are all cool with it, because they have seen the footage of what happened and they know the real story."

The safety of those using the fun park is taken very seriously, she says. Children under 10 have to be supervised by a parent at all times, and a minimum of one lifeguard for every 10 people on the course is mandatory.

At the time the boy’s parent were on the other side of the course.

She estimates around 30 people were on the course at the time of the incident, and there were three lifeguards on duty at the time.

"We have been open since Boxing Day and this is the first time something like this has happened. We do get the occasional bruise or maybe a cut when the kids collide, but generally it has been really good."

The only time they closed the park was when the wind strength reached more than 20 knots. The flow of water from the usual incoming and outgoing tides did not constitute a danger, Jasmyn says.

Tauranga harbour master Peter Buell confirmed his office had been alerted and they were satisfied users of the course were not at risk.

"[Water World management] have done very well. They handled this incident the exact way you would hope it would be handled.

"They did a lot of work with WorkSafe and the Tauranga City Council before they were issued with a licence to operate, and I know they had procedures in place for the possibility of something like this. We will be taking another look at it, but it seems that those procedures worked very well."

WorkSafe investigators debriefed Water World staff on Tuesday morning and no further action was being taken.

Family of the boy involved in the incident were not able to be contacted.

 - Stuff


here we go again

Posted on 09-02-2018 05:15 | By old trucker

This wont be the last time, people wrote to this paper about this, my thoughts only on this subject, Thankyou 10-4 out. phew.

Warnings given before

Posted on 08-02-2018 16:24 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That the current is strong, more so with King tides. Add the mass of green lettuce to grapple with and no surprises with the challenges here. Surprised not more in fact.


Posted on 08-02-2018 16:19 | By Capt_Kaveman

the strong tide was brought when this came to be not i say its a risk, as coughing up water is a risk

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