Tonight on AC360: Killer Whale Attacks SeaWorld Trainer
July 25th, 2012
07:04 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Killer Whale Attacks SeaWorld Trainer

A lot of people are talking about newly released video showing a 5,000 pound killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego pulling a trainer underwater repeatedly, nearly drowning him. The terrifying video was recorded in November 2006 and was used in a court case where the park was accused of putting its workers in danger. Amazingly, the victim in the video, trainer Ken Peters, kept his cool and survived the ordeal.

The whale, named Kasatka, grabbed Peters by the ankles, thrashed him around and pulled him to the bottom of the pool. Not once, but repeatedly. When Peters was finally able to free his foot he swam to safety.

The video was key evidence in the investigation of the 2010 death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau. Tonight, David Kirby, author of the book "Death at SeaWorld," talks about the safety regulations now in place at the parks. Kirby, an investigative journalist, obtained the video after filing a Freedom of Information request. Join us at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight for more on this story.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. cHRIS

    Well this just goes to show that these are WILD animals that deserve our RESPECT. They are not there for our entertainment and it is so wrong to keep in such tiny tanks and make them do stupid tricks so a bunch of people clap for 5 mins before they go off to see the dolphins. So sad.

    July 26, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  2. Neptun

    whale is not to be blamed, it is what is expected from him/her , if trainer is to scared or incompetent to do the job then he shouldn't, I only hope that whale will be fine, and no one will think of taking revenge on him/her or incorporate some absurd law. remember whale is prisoner there.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  3. LindieO

    Cetaceans are highly intelligent, sentient creatures who have lives to live in the sea with their families - not jumping through hoops in concrete tubs to entertain us! Captivity for these animals is cruel and inhumane; not to mention: DANGEROUS for their trainers. END THE CAPTIVE CETACEAN CIRCUS SHOWS! There is no education going on about dolphins and orcas at marine parks. It's all about big business making big money off the backs of magnificent captive creatures who have been reduced to mere shells of what they were meant to be in the wild.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  4. janice

    Some jobs are hazardous. I am sure that when you apply and get chosen to work at seaworld, and decide to go into the pool with killer whales common sense must kick in and you are aware of the possibilities that can happen. If you think that you can jump in a pool of whales and nothing will ever happen, then you shouldn't be in that business. Common sense, knowing the risks, and accepting what COULD happen should be put together as well, this is not ALL of seaworld's fault. You don't sign up for something without understanding all the risks...

    July 25, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  5. Jorge

    Were either trainers forced to get in the water? Some people are willing to do dangerous work and accept the dangers – whether getting in the water with a 5000 lb animal or working a coal mine or fighting fires. I'm sure Sea World has procedures in place. Are they enough – unknown.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  6. Wendy

    I lived in San Diego in 1987-1988, at that time, I met a trainer of the whales at Sea World, John Sellick, who had also been seriously injured when in the pool with the whales. While visiting him after his lengthy stay in hospital and post operative, i met another trainer, a young lady who was also injured and hadn't even realized that she had a fractured vertebra in her neck, which required a neck/back brace for 6 months. There have been many incidents and each time the management say that trainers will not go into the pools and yet within a few years they are back in the pool for the shows.
    How many young folks will have to be injured before this rule is followed? I really wonder what John Sellick thinks about all this today.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm |