Following the fatal fall of a 59-year-old Delaware woman from a zip line platform at Go Ape at Lums Pond State Park, state legislators say they’re pressing for details on what transpired and will work with lawmakers to determine if new rules are necessary.
Go Ape spokesperson Jeff Davis said in a statement, “Having completed her training on how to remain attached to the safety system, the participant proceeded onto the course and progressed to the final platform of site 4, towards the end of the activity, where she fell from the platform to the ground. Participant witnesses have stated that at the time of the accident the participant had unfortunately disconnected herself from the safety system.”
Democratic state Sen. Nicole Poore, whose district includes Lums Pond, said she doesn’t have any reason to doubt what park officials are saying, but also isn’t ready to simply lay the blame on the victim. “I don’t know if we have all the full details of what took place yet,” Poore said. “We’re waiting for all the facts so we can determine what the best path forward is.”
The state contract that enables Go Ape to operate at the park requires staff to check equipment daily, with more intensive reviews monthly and yearly. Additionally, it requires annual visits from OSHA and an annual third party inspection of construction and maintenance. Additionally, Go Ape is required to carry liability insurance, which comes with its own safety and inspection rules.
Zip lines are not considered amusement devices in the state of Delaware because they rely on gravity instead of mechanical systems, which takes them out of the jurisdiction of the state Fire Marshal’s Office.