Latest News

Back to Latest News back


US waterpark to tear down slide responsible for child fatality

US waterpark to tear down slide responsible for child fatality
November 29, 2016

With a heightened global focus on amusement ride safety, a US waterpark is to dismantle what had been the world’s tallest water slide, on which a boy was decapitated in August.

The Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas, USA has announced that it will remove its Verruckt (which means insane in German) waterslide, which had been closed since 10 year-old  Caleb Thomas Schwab died while riding it on 7th August.

Schwab was riding the raft with two women (who suffered minor injuries) when it left the slide.

The 17 storey high ride (taller than Niagra Falls and New York's Statue of Liberty), which hurtled riders at speeds of up to 80 kilometre/hour will be permanently removed from after an investigation into the tragedy is completed.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts advised “in our opinion, it is the only proper course of action following this tragedy”, adding that “all of us at Schlitterbahn have been heartbroken over the tragedy that occurred on Verruckt”.

In Queensland, Ardent Leisure, which owns Gold Coast themepark Dreamworld, has announced that it will dismantle and permanently close the Thunder River Rapids ride that killed four people in October.

As with Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride, Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt was not developed by a major ride manufacturer but was manufactured in-house.

Schlitterbahn developed the Verruckt following a long history of developing extreme waterslides and water-based rides.

According to UK newspaper The Sun, the State of Kansas “is known for its light regulation of amusement park rides, and the Texas-based company that operates Schlitterbahn lobbied legislators to help ensure that it remained responsible for its own inspections.”

Kansas reportedly mandates annual inspections of permanent amusement park rides but allows private inspectors to do the checks, rather than requiring a state inspection.

According to The Sun, a document released by Kansas’ Department of Labour after Schwab's death showed that all of Schlitterbahn's rides passed private inspections in June.

Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts’ statement noted that "the safety of our staff and our guests is our top priority.

"In our 50 years of providing an environment for families and friends to gather," the statement read, adding that the company has "never experienced this kind of devastating event."



Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology


Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business