News Release: Associated Press News
By MIKE SCHNEIDER
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Trainers at Sea World's marine parks will be wearing safety vests whenever they work in close proximity to killer whales.
Sea World trainers on Monday started wearing the vests, which can inflate and have tubes hooked up to a small oxygen tank.
Kelly Flaherty Clark, Sea World's curator of animal training, says the vests have been in development for three years. That's not long after the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed when an orca dragged her into a pool in 2010.
Flaherty Clark says using the vests had nothing to do with an appellate court's decision upholding a ruling that Sea World had violated a federal workplace safety law. That decision on a ruling by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission was made earlier this month.