Water slide closed in wake of more injuries

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A WATER slide at Frankston’s Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre is out of action after two boys were injured while using the slide.

PARC CEO Tim Gledhill confirmed the AquaSphere slide will be closed “for the next few weeks” until an investigation into the incident takes place.

The two boys were using the AquaSphere water slide last Saturday (27 February), featuring raft rides for two to four people, when the incident occurred.

“Both boys received immediate medical attention from our lifeguard staff before being transferred to hospital where one was treated for concussion and the other boy was diagnosed with a fractured elbow,” Mr Gledhill said.

“We are working closely with the manufacturer of the slide, Whitewater West, to investigate the cause of the incident and the slide is anticipated to remain closed for the next few weeks during this process.”

The centre will remain open and the AquaPlay aquatic playground featuring multi-level landings and slides is still in use.

The 79-metre high AquaSphere, billed as “a thrilling family raft ride featuring high-speed twists and drops, fully enclosed spheres and 90 degree corners”, was closed for ten months after two adults suffered head injuries on the slide in August 2014.

Mr Gledhill said “engineering changes” were made by the slide’s manufacturer after the previous incident.

“The current incident is unrelated and will be treated according to the suggestions made by the manufacturer following the investigation,” he said.

“The safety of our members and guests is our highest priority and we remain committed to ensuring our visitors have safe and enjoyable experience at all times.”

The $49.7 million PARC, funded  by the federal government, state government and Frankston Council, opened in late 2014 and the AquaSphere ride was hailed as “a key highlight of the centre”.

Frankston Council CEO Dennis Hovenden said PARC advised council immediately of the latest incident on the water slide.

“It was noted their first concerns were for the two boys and making sure they were attended to,” Mr Hovenden said.

“They advised council of the closure of the ride and that an investigation would follow.”

“We are interested in how this is being managed. However, it should be noted that this incident comes after a lengthy period of operation without any incident.

“Council is being kept informed and will await further advice.”

First published in the Mornington News – 8 March 2016

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