UK Theme Park Ride Closed After Incidents

Lancashire Evening Post: A woman has told how she clung on to a theme park ride by her hands and feet fearing she was going to fall out - days before a child plunged 30ft from the same ride.

Charmaine Giles, a care support worker, was enjoying a day out at the Camelot attraction with her partner and his two children until her experience on Excalibur 2.

The 25-year-old said she battled to hang on during a visit on Friday with her delivery driver partner Simon Akeroyd, 30, and his daughter Chloe, nine, and son Nathan, seven.

On Tuesday afternoon, a 12-year-old boy fell from the ride, suffering head and hip injuries. The ride is currently closed while an investigation takes place.

Charmaine, who lives in Bridge Terrace, Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, and went on the ride with Chloe, said: “I almost fell out. I was holding on with my arms, feet, ankles, everything. I couldn’t believe it. I just felt myself coming right out of the side and there was nothing to protect me if I’d have let go."

“They had an overhead thing that comes over you and a silver bar comes over the whole row to make you feel secure. But my overhead thing didn’t actually come as close as I wanted it to. I felt as if I was going to come out. I was slipping through the bars. I’m a rollercoaster fanatic and I’m not afraid of heights but this was just extreme. I should have said something (to staff) that day but I just thought that was what the ride was supposed to be like.”

Another woman, Valerie Willis, 48, said she warned Camelot and Health and Safety bosses the ride was dangerous 10 years ago. She said: “I seriously thought I would come out of it. I had to keep pulling myself up on the bars. I said sooner or later there would be an accident but they insisted it was safe. I’m absolutely appalled.”

A spokesman for Camelot said she could not comment until after the investigation was complete. She said: “We are in contact with the boy’s mother and our thoughts remain with her and her family at this difficult time. Our internal investigation is well under way and we are co-operating fully with the police and Health and Safety Executive.

“Every ride undergoes a daily, pre-opening safety and maintenance check throughout the season and is subject to an annual, independent safety inspection. As our internal enquiries are ongoing, we are unable to provide any more details at this stage.”


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