PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Last Saturday, one of the cables on the Vertical Accelerator ride at Cobra Amusement Park snapped seconds before it was about to launch in the air, with two riders on board.
Those riders spoke out Thursday morning about their experience, in an interview with Good Morning America. They requested that their last names not be released.
The pair, Nick and Vic, said they were in total shock when the cable snapped, and left their hands in the air not knowing exactly what had happened.
The video shows the ride operator at Cobra Adventure Park ready to shoot the two men off, when one of the bungee cords holding them completely shred to pieces.
They said they could not have imagined what would have happened if the ride had shot off.
The Florida Department of Agriculture will be on site Thursday night to inspect the ride. The department sent a statement to News 13 saying, “We are collecting information on the cords that failed to ensure the operator was within regulation regarding maintenance as well as the allowable number of uses. If the cord failed within the acceptable number of uses, we will contact the manufacturer and investigate further.”
Manager of Cobra Adventure Park, Robert Martin, says no one was injured and they perform safety checks daily. The ride is still open and operating.
Orlando Slingshot and Slingshot Group of Companies, who operate the Funtime Handels trademarked Slingshot attractions, released this statement to News 13 in regards to the Vertical Accelerator:
“Earlier today, an incident was reported at the Cobra Adventure Park involving an attraction named the “Vertical Accelerator.” The Vertical Accelerator and Cobra Adventure Park are not affiliated with the Orlando Slingshot or Slingshot Group of Companies, which operates the Funtime Handels-trademarked Slingshot attractions in Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach, Fla.
“There is nothing more important to us than creating a safe, secure and memorable experience for our guests,” said Ritchie Armstrong, partner of Slingshot Group of Companies. “For that reason, our trademarked Slingshot attractions have always maintained the highest safety standards, which includes the use of industrial steel cables rather than rubber cables and the Funtime-patented Spring Machine device in all of its Slingshot attractions. These features, plus an ongoing commitment to implement the latest technologies ensure our guests a secure yet thrilling ride experience.'”