Shoot the Rapids boat flips; riders injured

Witnesses say boat ride went backwards down lift hill, flipped into water with riders aboard (updated 10 p.m.)
Sandusky Register Staff
Jul 19, 2013


UPDATED 10 p.m.:

Click HERE for the 911 call from the ride

Cedar Point officials have released the following statement:

On Friday, July 19 at 6:42 p.m., ride operators stopped the Shoot the Rapids ride after a boat rolled back down the lift hill. Cedar Point Police, EMS staff, ride operators and several park guests immediately responded and helped passengers exit the boat. All seven guests on the boat were transported to Cedar Point’s First Aid Station. Six of the guests were evaluated and treated by Cedar Point EMS Staff and released. One guest was transported to Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio, for additional evaluation. The safety of our guests is our number one priority.

Cedar Point officials are currently investigating the incident and have reported it to state of Ohio officials. Shoot the Rapids will remain closed until park officials and inspectors from the state of Ohio complete their review. No further information is available at this time.

UPDATED 9 p.m.: Firelands Regional Medical Center staff said one person who was involved in the crash on Shoot the Rapids has arrived at the hospital for treatment.


Up to 10 people may have suffered injuries Friday evening when Cedar Point's Shoot the Rapids ride experienced a serious malfunction, according to multiple witnesses at the scene.

Sometime around 6:30 p.m., a Shoot the Rapids boat was ascending the first lift hill when the ride malfunctioned, sending the boat backwards and into the entry chute, witnesses said. The entry chute is hemmed in by concrete, and the chute itself is filled with water.

Witnesses said the boat either flipped on its side or upside down — details on that are still unconfirmed. Bystanders rushed into the water to turn the boat upright, witnesses said.

To see a point-of-view video of the ride, watch in the player below

Matthew Orr, 26, of Euclid, was at the scene. Orr said about nine people jumped into the water, about waist-deep, to turn the boat right-side up. Orr said it appeared all the seats were full. A Shoot the Rapids boat can hold 10 riders.

Orr said one woman appeared to have suffered severe head injuries. He also said it appears some of the riders were submerged for a few minutes before rescuers could correct the boat. The riders included adults and children, Orr said.

The details could not immediately be confirmed by Cedar Point officials. Park spokesman Bryan Edwards said he was still working on gathering details, and refused to take a moment to confirm what multiple witnesses have said.  

A witness at the scene also provided the Register a picture of what appears to be bystanders working to flip the Shoot the Rapids ride back over.

"One of the cars ... came down off that hill, and people were still in it," Orr said. "They were trapped.

"We jumped in and helped them get out," he said. "If we didn't help, I don't even know what would have happened.

"It took nine or 10 people to pull the car up," Orr said. "We had the car sitting sideways."

Orr said the riders were still belted into the car when rescuers worked to turn it over. "I'm positive," he said, adding that the children on the ride "appeared scared to death."

Sandusky firefighters said they have received no calls from Cedar Point tonight requesting assistance.

Cedar Point has nurses and paramedics at the park, Sandusky firefighters said.

The medical conditions of the victims remains unknown.

By 7 p.m., Cedar Point police were standing guard at all entry points to the Shoot the Rapids ride. By 8 p.m., police had completely cleared the scene of bystanders.

Check back for updates as they become available.



Isn't this the same ride that was just in the paper because one of its boat carts had jumped the track due to the water level being too low???! If so, I'd say maybe its time to reconsider remodeling or reconstructing this ride

Good 2 B Me

No, Snake River Falls was the one.


Still not as bad as the woman who died today at Six Flags Over Texas. The safety restraints came undone on the Texas Giant, a 14 story tall roller coaster. Apparently, she flew right off the ride and fell to her death. Crazy day for amusement parks.

"Elsewhere, seven people suffered minor injuries in a boat-ride mishap at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, park officials said."


Scary. Had to be terrifying for the kids! I hope everyone is okay!


Sandusky Fire Department should have been called by dispatch even though Cedar Point has their own medical personnel. By not notifying Sandusky Fire Department, the delay could have cost someone their life. Ten people were in that boat and it is not possible to attend to that many people with Cedar Point's limited personnel. The dispatch procedures should be looked at. Cedar Point can be first responders but there should be back up on the way especially when dispatch hears that the there has been a serious accident.


You clearly know nothing about CP Fire and EMS! They are more than capable of handling this type of situation and are not understaffed. The are professional firefighters emt's and medics. If they felt the need for Sandusky they would have called!


But then how are they going to cover up all the accidents and injuries that happen? It's funny, someone commented on how safe the park is and they never have stuff like this happen, IT HAPPENS ALOT but CP is good at keeping it quiet! With their own Police & Fire it makes it very easy, we NEVER get to read the CP Police Blotter in the paper do we?


How are they going to cover it up with a hundred plus people watching it as it happens?!


Are you stupid, or just ignorant? Cedar Point never covers up any incidents at the park. Just the other day a maintenance worker was injured on Millennium Force at like 4:00 in the morning. They could of easily of covered that up since the public wasn't around to witness the event, but they didn't. Just because most incidents aren't "BREAKING NEWS" doesn't mean the park doesn't release information. How about you actually conduct research before demonizing a park for fulfilling it's duties and regulations. Cedar Point takes safety very seriously.


I AGREE with Darkhorse, that Sandusky Fire Dept. should have been notified.

William Jeffers...

The end of the 911 call. 911 operator "Are you in the water right now" Caller "I'm not in the water" 911 "Your not in the water?" Click!

Can't believe he just hung up on her. At least he didn't say quit you're whining it's 92 degrees and they needed to cool off.


Cedar Point had trouble with that ride from day 1.
They had to wait to get the right sized boats from the manufacturer.


That is very true


I am a little concerned that a 911 call about a boat overturned gets forwarded to CP police. Makes me wonder.....


Why? CP Police take ALL emergency calls and dispatch as needed. No need to "wonder".


conspiracy theorists.


Makes you wonder what exactly? That the Cedar Point police department has first jurisdiction over their territory concerning ride accidents and other departments are only required upon Cedar Fair's request? Who will be able to get to the scene faster? The Sandusky Police Department or the one located within the actual park? Who is more trained to deal with ride accidents? Think before you comment, not everything is a damn conspiracy.


"Think before you comment, not everything is a damn conspiracy."

...........Get all the facts before YOU comment.
There is security and then there are REAL Cedar Point police.


Oops , sorry R.U.SERIOUS.


If Cedar Point arrived on the scene and figured they really did need backup from Sandusky, it might be too late because the response was delayed. I rather have the additional backup in route then have to tell a rider, we are waiting for Sandusky to arrive when both could have been notified at the same time and be in route. I think this type of incident should be re-evaluated jurisdiction or no jurisdiction. It never hurts to have back up especially with this type of accident. People could have drowned.


"People could have drowned"
Highly unlikely with thousands of people in attendance.


Totally agree with Darkhorse. While CP has some resources, they are not equiped, trained, or prepared to handle the possible situation as what could have developed. Water rescue and entrapment are completely different, special rescue operations, that the average EMT and Firefighter aren't trained in. It's always best to be over prepared by having all the calvary respond, and then dismiss them then to realize that the couple of paramedics, and two firefighters CP has to offer are up a creek without a paddle. Now the innocent riders are waiting for real help, and when it comes to fire and EMS, seconds count. Poor judgement call.


What makes you so sure they are not trained for special rescues? They went training just like any other fire dept. And there are more than just a couple of emt's and two firefighters on point when the park is open!


Water rescue in waist deep water. Exactly what kind of training do you need for this?


"Water rescue"? Lol!!! The water is waist deep. It was a good judgement call.