A 68 year old man was pulled from the Roa’s Rapids attraction at the Aquatica Water Park yesterday (Oct. 4, 2010).  Life guards spotted the man face-down in what is known as a ‘faster version of the lazy river.’  They pulled the man out and began life-saving procedures while the paramedics were on their way.  Once the paramedics arrived, they took over and continued with advanced lifesaving treatments.  Unfortunately, they were unable to save the man, whose name has not yet been released.

Park officials closed the ride for about an hour after the incident.  It is unclear at this time what is the official cause of death.  Witnesses reported that the man was blue as he was being pulled from the water, and that Aquatica’s lifeguards acted quickly to try to save the man.

A sign at the ride entrance warns riders that “only guests in good health should ride this attraction.”  There are life jackets available, and are required for guests under 51.”  A SeaWorld spokesman stated “Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.”

Florida is a wonderful state full of water attractions.  Not only at the theme parks, but our almost 1,200 miles of coastline with 663 miles of beaches, as well as more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways.  While water activities are a wonderful way to stay cool and have fun, please keep safety in mind.

Water safety tips:

  • Follow all signs when you go to area attractions; if there is a height limit, it is there for a reason, so do not try to make your child appear taller.
  • If you are not a strong swimmer, please wear a life jacket.  They are provided at area attractions.
  • If you have health problems, follow warnings that are posted at rides & attractions.
  • Any natural body of water in Florida could contain alligators.  Make sure to swim only in areas designated for swimming.
  • Wear safety jackets when boating/skiing.
  • Don’t mix boating and alcohol.
  • Do not let kids operate personal water crafts such as jet skis. These are intended for adults and require special training.
  • Teach children not to dive into oceans, lakes or rivers because you never know how deep the water is or what might be hidden under the surface of the water.
  • Swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool; be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
  • Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.

Please check out our additional safety tips for traveling.