Canada’s biggest water park is facing big trouble due to safety concerns. Calypso Park, a sprawling 100-acre water park located a short drive from Ottawa, Ontario, has been slapped with 20 charges by the province’s public safety regulator. Adding to its woes, the water park also faces three lawsuits from patrons who claim to have been seriously injured on rides.
The charges from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) come as a result of a year-long investigation into incidents that happened in 2011 and 2012. The TSSA accuses Calypso of “failing to ensure its water slides were sufficiently staffed with properly trained attendants and for operating its slides in an unsafe manner.” Each charge carries a maximum $1 million fine.
Calypso Park has been the site of a number of gruesome accidents the last few years. Some of the lowlights include:
- A 2012 collision on the Orange Bobsleigh slide that injured seven people and sent two to the hospital with head injuries. One of the injured riders is now suing the water park, claiming he suffered a fractured skull and vertebrae. The collision apparently happened because the attendant sent a group of riders down the slide before the previous group had gotten out of the way.
- Also in 2012, a chlorine gas leak sent 13 kids to the hospital with nausea and irritated airways. Calypso said a filtration error was the cause, and promised to change its procedures so incidents like this wouldn’t happen again.
- Reviewers on TripAdvisor have complained that The Steamer slide tends to flip tubes, possibly leading to neck injuries. The charges against Calypso say that it failed to shut down the slide after repeated incidents and failed to report accidents.
On top of all that, Calypso is also the target of a $725,000 lawsuit based on a drunken assault that allegedly happened in their parking lot. Not to make light of a serious situation, but it would appear that the water park’s lawyers are going to be very busy for the foreseeable future.
Accidents are inevitable at a water park, particularly one of Calypso’s size. But the park, which opened scarcely three years ago, is in danger of getting a bad reputation. In fact, the City of Ottawa has already suspended summer camp visits to the park for the time being, citing the charges.
That said, it’s important to point out that neither the charges nor the lawsuits have been settled in court. Many Calypso fans are already jumping to the park’s defense, arguing that people should take more responsibility for their own safety (for more info on how to stay safe, see our article on common water park hazards). Some also claim that Calypso is being unfairly targeted because of its popularity.
Opened in 2010, Calypso Park features 35 water slides and a shockingly large wave pool measuring 52,000 square feet. For fans, one of the signature features of the park is its water temperature, which is kept at a luxurious 81 degrees. Unfortunately, with all these charges and lawsuits, it appears that it’s the park itself that is now in hot water.