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Big Splash Owner Offers Apology

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Loretta Murphy, the park's owner, says she was focused on other work that needed to be done before the park opened. Loretta Murphy, the park's owner, says she was focused on other work that needed to be done before the park opened.
The state inspection is dated December 2007 and orders Big Splash to replace several rotten structural beams under the flumes. The state inspection is dated December 2007 and orders Big Splash to replace several rotten structural beams under the flumes.
Murphy says she did not feel like the beams in question were weight bearing, but she replaced them after the state closed the slides. Murphy says she did not feel like the beams in question were weight bearing, but she replaced them after the state closed the slides.

The owner of Big Splash responds after a News On 6 investigation revealed some slides opened this season, despite the fact ride inspectors called them unsafe.  News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports the owner says she simply over-looked the state's instructions and she's offering an apology.

The water park's owner says she takes full responsibility for the oversight and that safety is their number one priority.

On a sunny afternoon, Big Splash Water Park is the preferred watering hole for hundreds of summer-loving children and their families.  But last week, the News On 6 obtained a state inspection report highlighting some deficiencies at the park.

That report revealed the water park had ignored a recommendation that some of the park's slides should be repaired before the 2008 season.

Loretta Murphy, the park's owner, says she was focused on other work that needed to be done before the park opened.

"We had done many things in the park to provide what we felt like was additional safety to our patrons. And, it was a couple of items on the list that we missed. It was an overview on my part," said Big Splash owner Loretta Murphy.

The state inspection is dated December 2007 and orders Big Splash to replace several rotten structural beams under the flumes, some of the park's tallest slides.

Murphy admits she may not have given that report enough consideration.

"I would say it was just an oversight on my part. It's my fault that I didn't take it as serious as the Department of Labor did and I apologize for that," said Big Splash owner Loretta Murphy.

Murphy says state inspections on their rides are a new process for water parks.  The labor department stepped in to do the inspections just last year, after an 11-year-old girl fell through the broken Master Blaster slide at Big Splash.  Since the state inspections are a new process for water parks, Murphy says she wasn't sure what to expect.

"I think what we're talking about today is a learning process for us. And, you know, there's a saying shame on me if you have to tell me twice and that's where we're at," said Big Splash owner Loretta Murphy.

She doesn't have any animosity toward the state for shutting the slides down or for failing the slides' inspection.  In fact, she applauds the inspectors for keeping people safe.

"I think it helps us to be, to see things, like the boards that were challenged were boards that were not visible to us and they found them so I think it works," said Big Splash owner Loretta Murphy.

Although Murphy says the park's failure to act on the report was an oversight on her part, she says she did not feel like the beams in question were weight bearing.  She, however, went ahead and replaced them after the state closed the slides.

Related Story:

06/19/2008  Water Park Fails Safety Inspection

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