Texas waterpark fined following lifeguard's death

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Associated Press

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) — A federal agency has cited a South Texas waterpark for several worker safety violations and imposed a fine of nearly $100,000 following the death of a lifeguard in March.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that it found six safety violations in its investigation of the Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and Resort on South Padre Island.

The agency noted a lack of proper training that "tragically exposed its workers to unnecessary risks." The 20-year-old lifeguard and a maintenance supervisor were pinned inside a wave generation machine when it was inadvertently activated. The lifeguard, Nicolas Benavides, was killed and the supervisor seriously injured.

The penalties for one willful violation and five serious violations total $96,000.

Schlitterbahn's corporate office did not immediately return a call for comment.

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