Water rides: ‘Risk of future deaths’ without action


Several British theme parks have been requested to make safety improvements to their water rides following a death at Drayton Manor.

11-year-old Evha Jannath died at the Staffordshire theme park in 2017 when she fell from the park’s Splash Canyon rapids ride.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded earlier this year, but a report has now been issued that says there is a risk of further deaths on similar rides unless action is taken.

All four of Merlin Entertainment’s UK parks – Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures – have been written to by the assistant coroner.

Those parks have already made a number of operational changes to their rides in the aftermath of the Drayton Manor accident.

Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire has also been sent the assistant coroner’s report, which describes a number of safety factors which were relevant in the fatality.

The report identified how it was not possible for the Drayton Manor ride to be monitored adequately via CCTV.

The report also said that:

  • No safety warnings were given to guests boarding the boats
  • Signage in the boats was ‘worn and part legible’
  • Staff had not been trained in water rescue
  • No water rescue equipment was available

The parks have until 8 January next year to reply with what, if any, appropriate action they intend to take.