August 4, 2005
Rye, NY -- A 7-year old boy was found dead in the water of the Ye Old Mill boat ride at Playland amusement park yesterday. The historic flume ride is one of the park's original attractions.
The body was found under two and half feet of water beneath a conveyor belt that moves the ride's boats. Investigators are unsure how the child died.
The 7-year old child was riding the attraction without parental supervision and according to reports was alone in the boat.
A search began when the child's boat returned empty and his mother immediately notified a park employee. It took approximately 30 minutes for authorities to find the child.
Ye Old Mill has a 42 inch height requirement and is described as a very tame ride. The boy was reported to be tall enough to ride alone
The ride is so slow that park officials said sometimes riders jump off to cause mischief despite being clearly warned not to.
Ye Old Mill has forever operated without seat belts or restraints because on this type of ride they're not needed.
Tunnel of Love style water rides used to be found at amusement parks all over the country. Over the years, most have been removed and replaced with newer, more thrilling rides. Only a few still exist today.
According to Playland, this is the first accident on this ride since it began operating 77 years ago.
Park officials will keep the attraction shut while they conduct an investigation and determine the cause of the accident.
For more information, see Playland Park.
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