It turns out that an OSHA report in 2006 warned that “swimming with captive orcas is inherently dangerous and if someone hasn’t been killed already it is only a matter of time.” (via CNN).
According to CNN, when OSHA presented this report, SeaWorld became enraged and successfully quashed the report, reducing it from 18 pages to a mere 8.
From Digital Journal:
In the original OSHA report it states that these trainers would train for when the event happened and not if. According to Kaye this angered SeaWorld and they went to OSHA about it supposedly making them change the original report. Deleted were statements concerning the prediction that an event will happen as well as statements concerning the training that employees go through for when they are attacked.
OSHA acknowledged that the statements in the original report were speculative and not fact driven. Randi Kaye reported that the original OSHA report was 18 pages long while the revised one was only 8 pages.
(I would have loved to post the CNN video, but they don’t allow for embedding).
All of this is a big “I told you so” and doesn’t really help the family and friends of Dawn Brancheu. Even so, as in every tragedy, one can only hope that Sea World and the rest of us learn from this. Sometimes it pays to listen to OSHA, no matter how bureaucratic the entity can be.
There’s a reason why Orcas are also known as “killer whales.”