Deadly killer whale attack: 911 calls released

March 5th, 2010 by


www.smh.com.au – Fire rescue officials have released the emergency dispatch calls from the SeaWorld Orlando accident that claimed the life of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau.

In the first call, a SeaWorld employee is heard telling the dispatch operator: “We have a trainer in the water with one of our whales. The whale they’re not supposed to be in the water with.”

Moments later, the same employee calls 911 and tells the operator “they just pulled the AED [automatic external defibrillator]“, referring to the portable electronic device used to restart a person’s heart.

The SeaWorld employee makes a third call, saying, “They’re gonna go ahead and bring them [rescue workers] in the park. Can you let them know? They’re [the rescue workers] gonna bring the vehicle into the park. My guys are waiting for them at gate 3.”

Ms Brancheau, 40, was killed last week when she was dragged into a water tank by a six-tonne killer whale named Tilikum.

Ms Brancheau was face-to-face with Tilikum, performing what is called a “relationship” session when the whale bit down on her ponytail.

“Within the span of two seconds, she was pulled into the pool, unable to get her hair released from his mouth,” said Jan Joseph Topoleski, 32, who was at the scene as a SeaWorld trainer-spotter.

Mark Barner, 23, of Orlando, watched the rescue attempt from the Dine with Shamu show, where he was clearing tables. He said it took “what seemed like” 10 minutes to get nets in place.

Chahine Kish, 33, of Orlando, also watched from the Dine with Shamu area. “I saw Tilly surface with a trainer in his mouth. He was becoming frantic himself.”

The whale would not let go, witnesses said, and other animals in the water nearby did not heed trainers’ calls to move.

“I could see a woman’s ponytail in the whale’s mouth,” SeaWorld rescuer Valerie Greene said. “We were then instructed to let the whale be and net the other whales in the adjoining pools.”

Greene added that “He [Tilikum] eventually went over and we got the net over him and we were able to get the body out of his mouth. We had to get the net out once more to get him to let go of her arm.”

Click Here to Watch the Video


2 Responses

  1. thesharkguys

    http://www.thesharkguys.com/2010/03/03/top-7-killer-whale-attacks/

    Here’s some related commentary…

  2. Friday, March 05, 2010 | Bubba the Love Sponge® Show

    [...] dogs advances in Florida Senate Joel Miller Won’t Sue Former South Florida Coach Jim Leavitt Deadly killer whale attack: 911 calls released Man dies after shooting Pentagon security [...]

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment. You are free to voice your opinion but please keep it clean. Any comments using profanity will be rejected.