What terrifying info.
Following the tragic death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab, scary information about the 168-foot water slide where he was killed has come to light.
According to the Travel Channel documentary Xtreme Waterparks, the Guinness Book of World Records-certified “world’s tallest” water slide AKA Verr├â┬╝ckt was ruled unsafe just two years ago in 2014.
One particularly frightening “glitch” caused water rafts to fly off the slide and into the air, an issue which the creator and designer of the 17-foot tall ride supposedly rectified before its grand opening in July of 2014. As you can see (above), the fault would occur at the crest of the slide’s hill when riders were weightless.
What’s especially crazy is, not even sandbags could weigh the rafts down during early tests. So bone-chilling!
In an interview with USA Today back in 2014, creator Jeff Henry openly admitted to the ride’s flaws:
“We had many issues on the engineering side. Our correction coefficients were all off. Models didn’t show air and water friction. A lot of our math was based on roller coasters at first, and that didn’t translate to a water slide like this. No one had ever done anything like this before.”
Yikes! It sounds like this whole endeavor was super risky to begin with!
Despite multiple delays of the ride’s opening, the Schlitterbahn Water Park got the green light to open the slide after they enclosed the ride in a protective netting. In addition, the team reduced the hill’s slope which helped with its speed issues.
Following the ride’s improvements, Mr. Henry made an interesting comment about the Verr├â┬╝kt’s safety:
“It’s dangerous, but it’s a safe dangerous now. Schlitterbahn is a family water park, but this isn’t a family ride. It’s for the thrill seekers of the world, people into extreme adventure.”
Umm… what exactly does “dangerous safe” mean?!
Despite all these concerning details, we the investigation into Caleb’s death is still ongoing. We just hope the boy’s father Scott Schwab and his loved ones receive answers sooner than later.
We’ll keep you updated as this sad case progresses.
You can see more footage of water slide tests not going as planned (below):