Heavy Water

Good gravy:

The state’s water park regulator said Thursday it appears a family was injured on a new slide at Rapids Water Park because their combined weight was between 850 and 900 pounds – much heavier than the posted limit for a single raft.

“There were warning signs at the slide. There’s a maximum 700 pounds for riders,” said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

However, a lawyer for the injured family has declined to rule out the possibility that a suit might be filed on behalf of John D. Lenahan and his three children.

Ride inspectors arrived at Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach on Wednesday afternoon after fire-rescue was called to treat Lenahan and the children, who were injured when their raft flipped over on the new Black Thunder attraction, McElroy said.

One father. Three children aged 11, 14 and 15. 900 lbs. That’s 225 lbs per Lenahan. Unless his children are all strapping football players, I suspect this is another Attack of the American Diet.

What’s really interesting is the sidebar:

Of 206 total accidents at both permanent parks such as Rapids Water Park and traveling carnivals, 186 were found to have been caused by patron error.

No number on how many patrons we’re talking about. But when 90% of the problem is patron error, I would say we’ve safetied these things up to about the public’s level of intelligence.

Not that this means the regulators should go home. Anytime you’re dealing with children and water, supervision is a good idea.