Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ignoring danger signs can be fatal: Alligator snatches toddler in front of parents at Disney resort

USA Today    A desperate search is underway for a 2-year-old boy who was snatched by an alligator while wading in a lake at a Disney World resort hotel Tuesday night, law enforcement officials said. [...]

The boy was playing in about a foot of water in a beach area with his father when he was taken by an alligator that witnesses described as anywhere from four to seven feet in length.

"The father entered the water and he tried to grab the child, but was not successful in doing so," Demings said. The mother rushed into the water to try and help the father wrestle the boy from the alligator. When the frantic couple was unable to pull their son to safety, they cried for help and a nearby lifeguard called 911.[...]

There are posted signs warning guests against swimming in the lake, according to Demings.

A similar disregard for posted danger signs happened with a group of frum kids supervised by 2 adults walking along a stretch of dangerous beach in England. They passed and ignored 9 warning signs and consequently endangered their lives from an incoming tide that would have washed them out to sea.

The Guardian  More than 30 teenagers trapped by the rising tide on a treacherous rocky shore when a coastal walk went dangerously wrong were rescued by helicopter and lifeboats after using their mobile phone torches as distress beacons.

The 34 boys, aged between 13 and 14 and accompanied by two adults, got stranded after descending from the coastal path between St Margaret’s Bay and Dover harbour during the trip organised by the Ahvas Yisroel community centre in Stamford Hill, north London, on Monday.[...]
The coastguard launched an air and sea search involving a helicopter based at Lydd, Dover RNLI lifeboat, two inshore Walmer RNLI lifeboats and Langdon coastguard team.
A team of volunteers from the Stamford Hill Shomrim volunteer guard, the Jewish neighbourhood watch organisation, also rushed to Dover to assist with the search after one of those stranded alerted it to the group’s plight at about 9pm.
All were finally rescued by 11pm from three locations, as the group had split up, and were strung out along one mile of coastline. Thirty-one were rescued by lifeboat, while five, who were on nearby rocks shouting for help, were taken by helicopter. None required hospital treatment. [...]
Mark Finnis, Dover RNLI coxswain, said the group had been in great danger. “From what I can make out, they walked along the top of the cliff to St Margaret’s Bay from Dover. Once they got to St Margaret’s Bay, I’m understanding, they thought they would take a short cut back long the rocky shoreline.
“It is very inhospitable. We are not talking about little rocks, There are some pretty hefty boulders down there. They weren’t dressed for it at all, didn’t have the correct footwear,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“Less than two hours later, they would have been swimming, because the tide is rising all the time. They were cut off by the tide. There is no footpath in this particular stretch of shoreline. It is purely a rocky walk.” [...]
He said the group were in high spirits and had not seemed to appreciate the danger they were in, which was spelled out to them when they got back to Dover. The RNLI said the group had walked past nine signs warning them not to continue. 
A spokesman for the community centre said a full investigation into the incident would be held so that lessons could be learned, and praised the coastguard and RNLI. The boys were being supervised by two community centre staff at the time. [...]
Andy Roberts, Launching Authority at Dover lifeboat station, said “everything was thrown” at this rescue. “If we hadn’t got there in time, it could have been a different story. It could have been a tragedy. It is a 300ft cliff, and the signal can be bad.
“If the phones hadn’t worked, we wouldn’t have known they were there. There are no passing ships, or people on the clifftop, not at that time of night. The majority of them didn’t realise the implications of what could have happened.”
He added: “The group were spread out over a mile. They should have stayed together. It is a lot easier searching for 36 people grouped together than separated.” [...]


  1. Not sure what is the true version but most articles say there was no warning signs in the area.
    Disney 'Routinely' Removes Alligators from Beach Where 2-Year-Old Was Snatched, but Posted No Warning Signs, Officials Say (Tiare Dunlap),People 3 hours ago Comments Sign in to like Reblog on Tumblr Share Tweet Email
    Florida officials say Disney resorts routinely remove alligators from the area where a 2-year-old boy was dragged into a lake on Tuesday.
    The toddler was wading in about a foot of water around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday when the alligator came out of the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando and attacked. Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says that the resort has been "very proactive" in dealing with the alligators that are indigenous to the area. "They have a full-time staff observing these waters and they have essentially an open permit system where any time they see an alligator or a complaint is called in, it can be taken out," Wiley said at a press conference Wednesday, reports KETV.


    Grand Floridian custodian Mike Hamilton was so concerned by alligators occasionally swimming up close to the shore of Walt Disney World's Seven Seas Lagoon, he said he warned managers they should fence off the area.

    "There are signs that say, 'No swimming,' but no signs that say gators and everything else in this lake," he said.

  3. I totally disagree with you on this one. The sign said no swimming. It did not warn of alligators. I may have known not to wade in the lagoon but they didn't. I blame the resort not the grieving family.

  4. It is strange given the number of incidents why they would not put up signs warning about alligators.
    My point being is that if a sign warns you not to go swimming (or other activity)- it means not to go swimming and you do so at your own risk.

    If a road has a sign saying do not exceed 30 miles an hour - but it doesn't say the road is slippery or there is a dangerous curve or other hazards - is there governmental liablity if the car slides off the road or crashes when the driver exceeds that limit? Can Disney be sued for not specifying why a person should not swim in the lagoon?

  5. "No swimming" is not like a speed limit. It is more of a suggestion. Speed limits are laws. They are required safety measures in place to maintain the safety of all. If there was a real threat of life or death, which there was, it should have been stated. I blame the resort and feel for the family. I believe there will be a big payout for the family. But it still won't remove the pain of losing a child. We should never know from such pain.

  6. As someone who has often frequented the area; which good New Yorker doesn't go for their yearly pilgrimage to Disney, I can tell you that there are no signs about alligators and the possibility of alligators is way beyond any tourists imagination. The lagoons are mostly man made and the waters are very calm. The no swimming signs tht are there are viewed more as a be there at your own risk because they don't guarantee a life guard and they don't want liability but is very far from an actual threat. If it's true that Disney has dealt with gators there that will be some major lawsuit.
    Perhaps the reason why people ignore genuine signs that post threats is because nowadays everyone just puts up signs to avoid guilt so when there is a real threat people don't take it seriously.

  7. Why would anyone put up a sign saying "no swimming"? I can think of several actual examples I've experienced: dangerous drop-off, riptides, sharks, dangerous levels of pollution. They are all based on danger. If there was no danger then there would be no reason to post a sign. There is no sign saying "no swimming" at the local pool.

  8. Do you really believe that that would absolve the resort of responsibility. If they routinely remove alligators from that locations, there should have been signs alerting patrons to the real danger. I don't think that there is a limit to the negligence of the resort. How do you pay a parent for a murdered child?

  9. So you want to be technical about following rules and procedures. Ifyou want to be technical, wading is not swimming. It wasn't that the act of swimming was dangerous. The danger was being anywhere close to the water. The resort should be on the hook for the suffering of this grieving family.

  10. why put up a sign? legal iability.

    no swimming might be construed as unclear, according to the no wAding comment here.

    by the way, a general liabilty disclaimer is not valid, without advising the particular risk. thus, if the only danger of swimming is drowning, etc, then an alligator might make disney liable, if its an dangerous alligator zone. (from a legal perspective, this is not a drowning danger, its an alligator-causing-drowning danger.)

  11. but according to press reports, there was a lifeguard there, who helped the father almost immediately. which would lessen liability tremendously.

    note: disney risk management immediately pulled the family into some secluded private area, is obviously negotiating a good and quick settlement.


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