Sad news today from SeaWorld. A female trainer fell into the holding tank at Shamu Stadium and was fatally injured by one of the killer whales.
In a statement read by SeaWorld Orlando President Dan Brown, he described the 40-year-old trainer as one of their most experienced. He stated the trainer drowned in an incident with one of the killer whales. He said this is the first incident they’ve had like this and they will be reviewing all of their policies and procedures.
Our thoughts go out to the trainer’s friends and family.
Update:The trainer’s name is Dawn Brancheau.
Here’s a statement from Jim Atchison, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment:
“It is with great sadness that I report that one of our most experienced animal trainers drowned in an incident with one of our killer whales this afternoon, February 24, 2010 at our SeaWorld Orlando park.
“We have initiated an investigation to determine, to the extent possible, what occurred. There are no other details to share at this point, but we will make our findings known in due course.
“I must emphasize that this is an extraordinarily difficult time for the SeaWorld parks, and our team members.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees, guests and the animals entrusted to our care. All of our standard operating procedures will come under review as part of the investigation.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the trainer and will do everything possible to assist them in this difficult time.
“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and will share more information as it becomes known and available.”