...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
Emma Underhill, a distressed mother, recounts a terrifying experience as she watched her seven-year-old son, James, ride a rollercoaster at a popular seaside family funfair.
According to Emma, she was horrified to realize that James was not properly strapped into the ride.
While the family had visited the park before, this was the first time she allowed James to ride the rollercoaster.
Rhyl Family Fun Fair, the theme park in question, has stated that they are treating the complaint with utmost seriousness and have initiated an ongoing investigation.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified of the incident, and the local authorities, North Wales Police, were present at the scene.
Emma’s Account of the Incident
Accompanied by her partner Daniel Badrock, James, and their two-year-old son George, Emma visited the Children’s Village at Rhyl Family Fun Fair to celebrate Daniel’s birthday.
Emma recalls, “James wanted to go on the Nessi rollercoaster on his own.
He was very excited, thinking he was brave.”
However, she alleges that James screamed, “I’m not strapped in,” causing her and her partner to frantically alert the ride operator.
Emma claims that the operator assured them that James was indeed secured.
Emma explains, “I watched petrified as the rollercoaster moved.
The ride goes around twice, but the operator didn’t stop it until after the first lap when he noticed that James wasn’t secured by the safety bar.”
She rushed to rescue James, who had been clinging to a handrail throughout the ride without any safety restraint.
Emma describes the panic she felt and recalls how James was screaming the entire time.
Another child on the ride became upset upon hearing James’ cries about not being strapped in.
Safety Concerns and Psychological Impact
Emma alleges that there were signs on the rollercoaster indicating that the safety bar would be immediately secured.
However, she claims that no safety-bar check took place.
She emphasizes the speed of the rollercoaster and expresses relief that no physical injuries occurred but states that their anxiety levels have skyrocketed.
Emma reports that the park owner was present on the day of the incident but dismissed it as an unprecedented event.
She insists on filing an incident report, which required involvement from North Wales Police to ensure accurate documentation.
Response from Rhyl Family Fun Fair
A spokesperson for Rhyl Family Fun Fair acknowledges the complaint, stating that it was brought to their attention.
They confirm that an internal investigation is underway and assure that the park adheres to health and safety measures and necessary guidelines.
Due to the ongoing investigation, further comments have been withheld.
Seeking Support and Raising Concerns
Emma reveals that they are waiting for guidance from a doctor on how to manage James’ heightened stress levels.
She has also reported the incident to Denbighshire County Council and the HSE.
Emma expresses her inability to sleep and the emotional distress caused by the incident.
She criticizes the ride operator and owner for the lack of apology and claims that James no longer wants to ride rollercoasters.
North Wales Police confirm receiving a report of a dispute in the Children’s Village area and state that officers attended the scene to speak with those involved and the staff members present.
Denbighshire County Council highlights that fairground safety falls under the jurisdiction of the HSE.
The incident has left the family angry, upset, and demanding action.
Emma insists they requested the owner to either close the ride or remove the operator on the day of the incident.
The psychological impact on James and the distress experienced by the family have raised significant concerns regarding the safety and management of amusement park rides.