HORROR video shows the moment a SeaWorld trainer is dragged down in an attack by two massive 6,000lb orcas.
Tamarie Tollison, 28, let out the “blood curdling” scream as the two 6000lb orcas, Orkid and Splash, grabbed hold of her in the pool in front of horrified onlookers.
Tamarie Tollison desperately clings to a gate as she’s dragged down
The two massive orcas grab hold of the terrified trainer
She was soon fighting for her life as she was dragged under
Tamarie can be seen sitting on the edge of a tank with her foot dangling in the water with the seemingly friendly killer whales.
But suddenly she’s then whipped around dragged into the water as she desperately tries to cling to the gate of the tank at the SeaWorld park in San Diego.
SeaWorld has since changed its policies and trainers are no longer able to swim with the massive mammals since 2010.
The park always insists their orcas receive world-class care and deny they are aggressive
The animals receiving daily “positive reinforcement” along with support from hundreds of care specialists.
Tamarie’s terrifying encounter is recalled in the film Blackfish, a hit documentary that looked at captive orcas – in particular Tilikum, who was linked to three deaths.
In the film another former trainer, John Hargrove, recounted what happened when Orkid suddenly got hold of Tamarie’s foot alongside silent footage of the attack.
“At this point Tamarie knows she’s in trouble,” says Hargrove.
“She’s under the water, Splash and Orkid both have her, she’s totally out of view, no other trainer knows that this is happening.
“People start to scream. You hear Tamarie just scream out ‘somebody help me’ and the way she screamed it was just blood curdling.
“She knew she was going to die.”
Hargrove says at that point another trainer Robin Sheets made the “brilliant decision” to take the chain of the gate of a pool holding another ocra, Kasatka.
That would give the two orcas the message that Kasatka was coming in and she was “more dominant than Orkid so Orkid let her go”, he explained.
He added that Tollison’s arm was “u-shaped” from a compound fracture and she is “very lucky to be alive, that’s for sure” after the 2001 attack.
Tamarie was penned in but the orcas let her go when a dominant female was let in
She eventually managed to escape but suffered horror injuries
Footage shows the badly shaken Tollison being led away with her badly injured arm visible.
Orkid, who weighed 5900 lbs, was born in captivity and the terrifying incident with Tollison wasn’t the only time she attacked a trainer.
According a report from State of California accident report into another incident at the park, in 2006 a trainer was working in a show with Orkid and another orca Sumar.
As the unnamed trainer was swimming Orkid came up “behind him and grabbed him by his left ankle. She rolled and pushed him under water nearly to the bottom of the pool”.
The trainer was held under water for nearly 30 seconds.
In 1991, Tilikum – who weighed a colossal 5,700kg – was still cooped up at Sealand when a young part-time worker slipped and plunged into the pool.
Onlookers watched on in sheer terror as Tilikum and his two tankmates submerged marine biology student Keltie Byrne – ferociously dragging her around the pool and stopping her from surfacing.
Ten years later, Tilikum killed star trainer Dawn Brancheau.
As part of the post-show routine, star trainer Dawn Brancheau lent over the tank’s edge to rub Tilikum when his behaviour suddenly changed and he pulled her into the water by her ponytail.
Harrowing scenes saw Dawn shaken and thrown about as terrified guests were frantically ushered out by staff.
According to reports, the 40-year-old was scalped and had her arm bitten off during the attack.
In another attack, a trainer was left with a broken neck and allegedly walked half-naked to an ambulance following a shocking attack by the park’s most violent orca, Kandu 5.
Joanne Webber, 26, who had five years experience of working with orcas, was in the tank when the 6,000-pound mammal landed on top of her, pushing her to the bottom of the pool.
SeaWorld said in a statement: “That situation happened more than 20 years ago.
“We have extensive protocols and training in place to protect the safety of our trainers and animals.
“This trainer was not following safety protocols in place at the time. It is also important to note that trainers have not been in the water training with killer whales for many years.”
Orkid was one of the orcas that attacked TamarieCredit: SeaWorld
Splash was the other orca that went for TamarieCredit: SeaWorld
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