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Action Park – Most Dangerous Water Park of All Time

HBO’s documentary Class Action Park highlights what was the most dangerous water park in America.

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I recently watched Class Action Park, which is a retrospective look back at one of the most infamous waterparks of all time. The film was a time capsule that brought me back to my days growing up in Brooklyn, NY.

No summer was ever complete without a trip to Vernon, New Jersey for a day at Action Park. Years later, I realize that each visit was always a crap shoot to see who would come out unscathed. Would someone end up with a bloodied nose after getting on one of the rides? Who would get scraped up on the Alpine Slide, a notorious no-brakes wheeled ride down a concrete-and-fiberglass track that invited calamity at every turn?

What Made Action Park So Dangerous

I could count the number of times I almost drowned in their massive freshwater pool that featured waves so high, lifeguards were required to save more than two dozen people each day.

Over the years, Action Park, had developed many nicknames. Locals referred to it as “Traction Park. It was without a single doubt the most dangerous water park that ever existed.

Action Park was one of the first modern water parks in the United States, opening in Vernon, New Jersey in 1978. Gene Mulvihill, the company’s founder and CEO, believed that amusement park guests should have control over their experience. He imagined the type of theme park where customers could control the rides, including how fast and high they went. Nothing unsafe about that at all, right?

Without a doubt, the craziest non-water ride in the entire park was the Alpine Slide. This was basically a huge track devised to rip people’s flesh off that was disguised as a kid’s ride. I have vivid recollections of riding down this incredibly long, cement-and-fiberglass-filled track in a wheeled cart to my impending doom.

Alpine Slide - Action Park - Vernon, NJ

Theoretically each rider was in charge of their own speed but the ride would constantly malfunction. Some carts didn’t have brakes, so you couldn’t slow down as you sped down this precarious concrete slope. Others carts had brakes which were locked, causing riders behind to inevitably slam into the ones in front of them. That ride, would ultimately become responsible for the park’s first fatality. According to New Jersey statistics, the Alpine Slide was responsible for at least 26 catastrophic head injuries and 14 fractures.

Some of the rides were more original than others. One “ride” consisted of a pair of diving cliffs, while another called Tarzan’s Swing involved swinging off a platform with a rope into the middle of a lake. The water however was so cold that lifeguards frequently had to save people from drowning. One park visitor had a heart attack after experiencing the swing.

Another one of the ill-devised attractions was the Tidal Wave Pool. This quickly became one of the park’s most infamous attractions. It was one of the first ones of its kind to open in the United States and rapidly developed a reputation for being the park’s scariest “ride”. It was dubbed “The Grave Pool” because it was filled with fresh water rather than sea water, which made patrons far less buoyant and put swimmers on expert mode trying to survive waves that reached 40 inches at full blast. On busy weekends, the dozen or so lifeguards on duty rescued an average of 30 people a day.

Tidal Pool in Action Park - Vernon, NJ

For me though, the one ride at the park that was most likely to take you out was Cannonball Falls. This ride was an enclosed water slide that ended with a 10 foot drop into the middle of a huge pool. I can remember once landing flat on my back and hearing every visitor watching say “Ohhhhhhh” at the same exact time when I hit the water.

The state of New Jersey would ultimately wind up shutting down that ride for good in 2014 after a spate of injuries drew the attention of park regulators. But that in itself was not nearly the scariest ride in the park. That title would have to go to it’s cousin Cannonball Loop, which I never rode on but is steeped in urban myth because this insane water slide was only open a month before it too was shut down.

The Cannonball Loop, was an enclosed water slide with a complete vertical loop. According to one urban legend I heard, they used a dummy for a test run of the ride and it came back without a head.

Gene Mulvihill offered park staff $100 to try out new rides, including the Cannonball Loop, and despite employees getting bloody noses and bruises, he went ahead and opened the attraction anyway. One person actually got stuck at the top of the loop, prompting the park to construct a hatch to facilitate future rescues.

The Advisory Board on Carnival Amusement Ride Safety shut it down just a month after it opened, after numerous injuries were reported. Mulvihill’s son confesses that they “never completely perfected that one”.

At the end of the day what made Action Park so successful was it’s “anything goes” mentality that made the water park so popular. I remember people drinking freely and kids running around the park without any adult supervision. In reality, many of the numerous injuries reported came from visitors who were inebriated.

Shut Down & Rebirth

In 1996, Action Park was shut down. But by that time, the park had been responsible for six deaths, including three drownings in the Tidal Wave Pool and the electrocution of a 27-year-old man on the Kayak Experience when his kayak fell over and he came into contact with water that had a loose wire contacting it.

Mulvihill headed a committee to reclaim the park in 2010. Mountain Creek Waterpark, which reopened in 2014 under it’s new name, now advertising a trained lifeguard team and stringent, up-to-date safety measures.

Class Action Park

Recently HBO made a documentary called Class Action Park which brought back a lot of memories. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane but haven’t been back to the park since it reopened. Nothing will ever be able to match the crazy thrills we got on a hot summer day at Action Park. Those memories will endure for everyone that grew up during that generation.

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email info@poolmagazine.com or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to submissions@poolmagazine.com

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Pool dog videos -This Pool Has Gone To the Dogs

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Pool dog videos -This Pool Has Gone To the Dogs

There’s no better way to cool down under the summer heat other than taking a long swim in your pool. TeamDogs report that dogs enjoy hours of pool play. Swimming is important for the overall health of your dog. Pool dog videos are great to watch and can be enjoyed by everyone. This low-impact exercise makes your dog stronger and flexible. Moreover, it helps them relax and unwind; hence, it improves their mood.

All dogs at a doggy daycare center jumped into a pool on a hot sunny day in America. This sight was undoubtedly admirable from a distance. All 39 dogs jumped into the pool to cool themselves from the summer heat. Luckily, the witnesses did not forget to record this moment on camera.

Brenda Langley, Lucky Puppy founder, is responsible for managing the doggy daycare. She monitors all the dogs as they move freely in the compound. She says, “One of the main things she enjoys about her job is watching dogs let loose in the pool. Pool dog videos are always the best. It’s good to see the dogs happy and having fun amid the summer heat.”

Brenda continues to say, “Basically, I have grown up around a swimming pool. And I had so much fun in my childhood because of this spectacular feature. Consequently, I believe that it is important for every child to grow up around a pool. That’s the sole reason why I had to incorporate a pool into my property. I feel like dogs are just like kids; so, they need some pool time as well.”

Dogs indisputably enjoy pool time. Brenda’s pool is large enough to accommodate a large bather load capacity. Additionally, it has a shallow end for dogs who don’t know how to swim. Here, dogs can sit and relax as they enjoy more hours of pool play.

Brenda says, “Before having my current pool, I had an above-ground pool. Every time I’d go into the pool, the dogs would jump in too.” “Over time, I realized the dogs needed their own pool. So, I built a pool specifically for the dogs. Seeing the dogs happy in the pool melts my heart. I love dogs. And I’m so grateful whenever I see them enjoying themselves.”

Nonetheless, it is pretty challenging to maintain crystal clear pool water when you have dogs swimming in the pool. Keep in mind that the pool filter has to deal with pet hair. Dog hair can easily tangle along the filter cartridge. Thus, it can lead to clogging and damage to the filter. Brenda and her crew of pool experts have to wake up early in the morning to sweep the pool. Cleaning usually takes about an hour. Also, she has to switch on the filter 24 hours a day to ensure the pool water is clean and safe for use. Moreover, there’s always a professional who uses a net to get rid of any large dirt particles in the pool during dog swim times.

Are you a dog lover?

If you love dogs, do not hesitate to join TeamDogs. You can do this by signing up on their new website. Once you reach the website, start by sharing a picture with your dog.

Brenda says, “Not only does swimming make your dog happy, but it also makes them healthier. Your dog is likely to benefit physically from swimming. It makes them more flexible and stronger. Additionally, swimming improves the mental health of your dog. Your dog is likely to be happier and more satisfied from swimming. At the end of the day, you boost your dog’s overall health once you allow them to take a swim.

“It’s amazing to see our pool videos put a smile on faces. Some confess that the pool dog videos are the only thing that makes them smile amid their problems. And this makes us happy. Even though we may be miles away, at least we can touch people’s hearts. Teachers and parents also report using our videos to get their children to complete their homework or chores. Children love to see our pool dog videos; thus, they light up whenever they watch the video as a reward for something they did.”

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Pools

Deepest Pool In The World – Deep Dive Dubai

Visitors can free dive and explore an entire sunken city at Deeb Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest swimming pool.

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The world’s tallest building and the world’s largest mall are already located in Dubai. The world famous city now has the distinction of having the world’s deepest swimming pool.

Deep Dive Dubai debuted on July 7, barely ten days after Guinness World Records designated it the world’s deepest dive pool.

The new indoor pool has a depth of about 200 feet and a capacity of nearly 3.7 million gallons of water. It also has a large underwater attraction that looks like a “sunken city” that divers can explore on their own or with a guide.

Visitors can free dive and explore an entire sunken city in Deeb Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest swimming pool.

Explore a Sunken City in Deep Dive Dubai

Dubai’s new vertical diving pool contains the vestiges of a forgotten sunken city, with graffiti, collapsing structures, and a big photo of Marilyn Monroe hanging on the wall. There’s an arcade featuring a classic Pac-Man game, foosball, and a pool table, as well as an apartment complex and library.

Guinness World Records has certified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving. It holds the equivalent of six Olympic swimming pools. According to Deep Dive Dubai, it is 15 meters deeper than any other dive site.

According to the firm, the facility, which is shaped like an oyster in honor of the UAE’s pearl diving legacy, is also the region’s largest underwater film studio.

Beginners can dive to a depth of 40 feet, while certified divers can explore the entire pool with or without a guide. Certified divers can also “free dive” while attached to a fixed ascent line, which means diving without a tank and relying solely on their own air. There are also courses offered to educate a variety of new talents.

Bookings are only accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Will Smith, an actor and rapper, documented his visit in an Instagram post that has received over 3 million likes in just four days.

Deep Dive Dubai’s pool is 196 feet deep and contains 3.7 million gallons of freshwater, roughly the same equivalent of six Olympic-sized swimming pools. Scuba diving and freediving are two ways for swimmers to explore the pool. The pool also boasts 56 underwater cameras monitoring the sunken city.

The pool breaks the world record of 147 feet set by Poland’s Deepspot pool. According to the website, due to the scale of the underwater city, numerous dives are required to thoroughly explore it.

The new Deep Dive Dubai pool is regulated at a pleasant 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which should make exploring the depths of the pool a comfortable experience for divers. The sheer magnitude of this new attraction, has captured the world’s imagination and is creating a long waiting list of visitors eager to try out the new pool.

Featured Photo Credit: Antonie Robertson/ The National

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Pool Magazine App – Pool News at Your Fingertips

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Pool Magazine App - Download on Google & Apple - Pool News App - Pool Apps, Swimming Pool Apps

Pool Magazine is the hottest new publication in the pool industry. Our brand new mobile app features the latest news pertaining to the world of pools and spas. Stay up to date and keep your finger on the pulse of the pool industry with the Pool Magazine app.

Featuring pool related editorials, stories, podcasts, videos and more. Get the latest pool news at the push of a button and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s really going on in the pool world.

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