OCEAN CITY — Two test dummies that were launched from Playland Castaway Cove’s Gale Force roller coaster Saturday morning landed on a nearby roof, but park officials insist the ride is still safe.
The dummies went airborne not because of a ride malfunction, but because of a water leak in the dummies that caused them to deflate, a manager at the amusement park said.
“The harness wasn’t open. The harness was still locked,” Brian Hartley said. “Nothing is wrong with the ride, it’s just that the water dummy ... had a leak and came out.”
A dummy, when properly filled, weighs about 150 pounds, Hartley said.
“It’s an inflatable water tube, just like an inflatable raft you would use,” he said. “There was a hole in the (dummy) so when it deflated obviously it shrunk down to a very small size as the water leaked out — and it came out of the harness.”
The deflated dummies took flight during a test run Saturday morning, Hartley said, coming to rest on the Ebb Tide Suites’ roof.
Managers at Ebb Tide Suites did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Only “some plywood and roof shingles” were damaged, and they were repaired within an hour, Hartley said.
Anywhere between 15 and 30 test rides are done most mornings. Hartley’s been a manager at Castaway Cove for 20 years, and said he’s never seen another dummy airborne.