Wheelgate Park

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Gemma's complaint against Wheelgate Park

Gemma Dawkins


Falling in the boating lake!

Complaint against Wheelgate Park

We have annual passes for wheelgate. We visited on the 9th of June 2018 on my son's 3rd birthday. We went on the round motor boats as we usually do. Me and my son in one boat and my husband and daughter on another- my parents watching from the side. When we drove back to the decking to get off the boat the young man who was in charge of the ride attempted to hook the boat on to the chain. He couldn't find the attachment on the side of the boat therefore hooked the chain to the motor part of the boat and told us we could now get off. My 3 year old son stood up first, as he tried to step off the boat, half on the decked area with one foot the other in the boat the round motor boat started to come away from the side as it clearly wasn't hooked up securely! Leaving a gap of water between The decking and boat. The chain was able to stretch enough so the boat drifted away from where you get off. My son was about to fall in the water so I stopped him by grabbing him and more or less throwing him on the side. One of his legs did dangle in the water as I did this. I had one foot on the decked area and the other still on the boat at this point. The boat drifted further away causing me to do the splits to where my legs could no longer stand and I fell in the green dirty and smelly pond/lake. The young man who was working on this ride made no attempt what so ever to help stop my son falling in nor did he help me from falling in, he also didn't help me get out when I was above waist deep in the water! My family saw this disaster and both my children were absolutely distraught. Me and my husband had to leave wheelgate to go home to get changed, leaving my son on his birthday upset from seeing his mum fall in a river due to the attendant not doing his job properly by securing the boat to the side. I requested to see management from the park. He took a statement from the attendant who said "I thought she was fine". He didn't admit he had done wrong but i was informed he was removed from the ride. We were given 4 tickets for Twinlakes as an "apology for the incident". Since I have had a bad groin strain from the boat drifting from the side and this totally spoilt my son's birthday day out. On reflection complimentary tickets is a nice gesture but this no way compensated for what happened. The young man should not have been working on a ride which he certainly wasn't competent enough to ensure the health and safety of users. This incident could have been my 3 year old son in the water if i hadn't have saved him.

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