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The Island Permanently Removing Wave Rider after Child Fell from Ride

The Island Permanently Removing Wave Rider after Child Fell from Ride

A child fell from the Wave Rider attraction at The Island in Pigeon Forge on Saturday and the company says it will now remove the ride altogether.

An 8-year-old girl was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center just after 5 p.m. on July 15, 2017 after reportedly slipping through a door that opened while the surf-themed Wave Rider was in motion, allowing her to fall from the ride onto the pavement below. A witness said the girl was conscious after the fall. Her condition was not released.

Wave Rider was in operation for only one month at The Island in Pigeon Forge. Records show it passed an inspection by a certified third party inspector on June 13 and opened two days later.

A visitor video of the Wave Rider in operation at The Island.

Ride owner Smoky Mountain Observation Wheel Investors, LLC reported the accident to the Amusement Device Unit of the state’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development as required and were then prohibited from operating Wave Rider until the agency’s Workplace Regulations and Compliance division reviewed post-accident inspections performed on the device.

Vice President of Operations David Wear told regulators yesterday that the Wave Rider would instead be permanently removed and no longer operated at The Island.

SBF-VISA Group is the ride manufacturer with Rides 4U, Inc. listed as its office in the United States and Canada. The company did not respond to a request for a statement.

About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I've spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.