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SeaWorld drops appeal of OSHA violation

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm •  Published: August 20, 2014
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld Entertainment has dropped an appeal of citations it received after the drowning of a trainer who was pulled under by a killer whale, ending any chance of trainers ever again swimming with orcas during shows.

The marine park company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week that it wasn't going to pursue the appeal of a court's decision to uphold the citations.

Last April, the federal appeals court in Washington said SeaWorld's challenge to the finding was unpersuasive, and that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission was correct when it found that the SeaWorld park in Orlando had violated a federal workplace safety law.

SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in 2010 when killer whale Tilikum grabbed her and pulled her into a pool.

Tilikum became the focus of a critical 2013 documentary film "Blackfish."

After an investigation into Brancheau's death, OSHA recommended that trainers perform with killer whales only when they have a protective barrier or sufficient distance from the marine mammals, making it impossible for trainers to swim with the whales during shows.

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