State agency may investigate zip line accident

An employee of a zip line ride in Myrtle Beach remained in the hospital Monday recovering from injuries he suffered in an accident Friday.

Gerard O'Sullivan is hospitalized in serious condition, with two broken ankles, but a woman who says she's a family member posted on our website that O'Sullivan also had a broken pelvis and a punctured lung.

The manager of Zipline Adventures told NewsChannel 15 Friday that O'Sullivan did not clip a safety harness to the line, and fell backward, plummeting 60 feet to the ground.

A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which inspects amusement rides, says since an employee was hurt, it's considered a workplace accident rather than an amusement ride accident.

The spokesperson says officials with SC OSHA, the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are aware of the accident and may investigate it, though no decision has been made.

Meanwhile, the manager of the zip line at Wonderworks, says his ride has a perfect safety record, now in its third season, but an accident at any zip line reflects poorly on all of them.

"Any safety issue that arises, whether it's at a zip line or a ropes course, when people hear the name, it's going to ring throughout to everyone and can cause problems," said Robert Stinnett.

Stinnett said up to 100,000 people go through the Wonderworks zip line every year, and so far it's had no accident requiring more than a band-aid.

But he said Friday's zip line accident will cause him to take a closer look at safety.

"Anytime you hear of any type of an accident, it makes you go back and relook at your process, make sure you're doing things as well as you can."

Stinnett said he thinks most accidents are preventable, through safety measures and making sure people know and follow safety policies.

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