A year after the fatal accident involving trainer Dawn Brancheau, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has announced that they are preparing to put trainers back in the water during their killer whale shows. Trainers have not been permitted in the water since the incident involving their largest orca named Tilikum.
SeaWorld will not give an exact date of when in-water performances will resume, but they are laying the groundwork. The company plans to spend millions of dollars on a number of safety devices aimed at preventing another tragic incident. Some of the safety measures include: the installation of fast rising pool floors, remote-controlled underwater distraction devices, and outfits with emergency air supplies.
For now, the trainers will only interact with the orcas in small medical pools already outfitted with false-bottom floors. So, SeaWorld’s new show, “One Ocean”, will not feature trainers swimming with the killer whales right away. Trainers will conduct the show entirely from the stage. “One Ocean” is set to begin in April at SeaWorld Orlando, on Memorial Day at SeaWorld San Diego, and in June at SeaWorld San Antonio. The Orlando Sentinel has more.