SeaWorld agrees to stricter orca-trainer safety guidelines in proposal to settle citations

SAN DIEGO – SeaWorld and California regulators have agreed on a proposed settlement over allegations that the park failed to train workers to safely interact with killer whales.

California Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza told The Associated Press that the proposal has been submitted for approval by a judge and the agency’s appeals board.

If approved, it would dismiss four worker safety citations and related fines but require the park to adhere to strict guidelines on how whales and trainers interact.

The proposed agreement would ban surfing on, swimming under and standing on orcas.

The citations claimed the park didn’t keep employees aware of hazards involving the orcas. A park spokesman says SeaWorld supports the proposed guidelines.


This story has been corrected to reflect that the settlement is not final. A headline also has been corrected to show that SeaWorld agreed to tougher guidelines, not citations.


Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune,