Mum who cant sleep claims screaming son wasnt strapped in on rollercoaster

A mum claims she watched on in horror as her screaming son, seven, rode a rollercoaster while not strapped in properly.

Emma Underhill, 27, said the safety bar was not down when her boy James went on Rhyl Family Fun Fair's Nessi rollercoaster. The incident on Saturday (May 13) left her unable to sleep, she added.

The theme park has launched an investigation into the incident and said it was taking the complaint "very seriously".

READ MORE: UK's biggest rollercoaster breaks down for second time in weeks as riders forced to walk

North Wales Police confirmed they attended the incident and the matter has also been passed to the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) concerns team, reports North Wales Live.

Emma said it was her partner Daniel Badrock's birthday so they decided to take their sons, James and George, to the theme park.

She claimed: "James sat on the rollercoaster waiting to go. We were watching when he screamed 'I’m not strapped in'. My partner and I were literally screaming to the ride operator that James wasn’t strapped in, and he replied: 'Yes, he is.'

"I watched petrified as the rollercoaster moved. The ride goes around twice, but the operator didn’t stop it until after the first lap, and it was then he noticed the safety bar wasn’t down on James.

"James had just been holding on to a handrail the whole way around with no safety bar. I ran up and got James off the ride. I was in a panic, and James was screaming the whole time around.

"There are signs on the rollercoaster saying the safety bar will be put down immediately, but there was no safety bar check. It’s not a slow rollercoaster – it has some speed to it.

"He’s lucky there were no physical injuries, but psychologically our anxiety has gone through the roof. The owner was there on the day, and his words were: 'It hasn’t happened before,' and I said that it didn’t matter; it had happened now, and I wanted to put an incident form in."

A Rhyl Family Fun Fair spokesperson said: "There was a complaint that was brought to our attention on Saturday, May 13 2023. Although there were no injuries sustained, we have launched an internal investigation which is currently ongoing.

"Due to this investigation we cannot comment further. The business, which was established over 30 years ago, has health and safety measures in place and includes safety checks, which follow the necessary guidelines. We take this complaint very seriously at this stage, and we have nothing more to add."

Emma claimed there was "no apology from the ride operator or the owner" and said the family are waiting for a call back from the doctor on how to manage James' stress levels.

She added: "We are meant to be going to Thomas the Tank Engine Land in a couple of months. James has said he doesn’t want to go on a rollercoaster for the rest of his life."

A police spokeswoman said: "We were called shortly after 1pm on Saturday, May 13 to report a dispute in the Children’s Village area of Rhyl. Officers attended the area to speak with those involved as well as staff members at the site."

Denbighshire County Council said fairground safety concerns were the responsibility of the HSE.

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