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Orca Trainer Incidents
Orky lands on his trainer

The fallowing page was put together to include a breif description of some attacks or altercations involving Orcas and their trainers. It is a work in progress, and any information, including photos, video, news articles, and other things are very welcome additions.

Orca Trainer Location Date Type Pic Description
Shamu Annette Eckis Sea World, CA Early 70's Attack
Annette Eckis, a seceratary at Sea World of California, begin to ride Shamu around the tank for a Sea World publicity stunt. With camera's and trainers surrounding the tank, but no people in the water with the whale. Though the first few moments were tense, Annette soon began to relax and enjoy the ride. Shamu however, became increasingly uneasy. Trashing around, Shamu threw her off. She prevented divers from entering the water, and even bit down on Annete's leg as she was lifted from the pool.
Hugo Chris Christiansen Miami Seaqarium, FL Early 70's Mis-Cue
Chris while working with Hugo, placed his head in the whale's mouth to perform a familar trick. Hugo, on a miscue, closed his mouth, causing Chris to recieve 7 sitches to close the wound.
Orky Male Trainer Marineland of the Pacific, CA Early 70's Attack
Orky, a domiant male, dragged a trainer by the leg to the bottom of the pool, holding him there until he lost conciseness.
Kianu Jeff Pulaski Marineworld, CA 1970's Attack
Kianu, a highly domiant animal, threw her regular trainer off of her back during a performance, and chased him out of the pool
Nepo Dave Worcester Marineworld, CA 1970's Attack
Nepo, an preadolesent male, dragged trainer Dave Worcester to the bottom of the pool
Kim Unknown Marineland France 1970's Attack
Kim, a preadolesant male, took a trainer in his mouth and held him at the bottom of the pool. Finally releasing him, he allowed the trainer to exit safely.
Orky Jill Stratton Marineland of the Pacific, CA May 2, 1978 Attack
Orky, a rountinally agressive whale, grabbed trainer Jill Stratton and took her to the bottom of the pool. He held her there for 4 minutes before releasing her, and she was almost drowned.
Kandu 5 2 Female Trainers Sea World, CA 1984 Attack
Kandu 5, a rountinally agressive whale, took 2 trainers in her mouth and would not release them
Kandu 5 Male Trainer Sea World, CA November 1986 Attack
Kandu, in another show of agression, pinned a trainer up against a wall
Unknown Jonathan Smith Sea World, CA March 4, 1987 Attack
2 Orcas grabbed onto Jonathan Smith, dragging him across the pool. He had less than 1 week's experiance working with orcas. Though he survived the attack, his kidneys ruptured, his liver was lacerated, and he had many cuts.
Unknown Joanne Webber Sea World, CA June 15, 1987 Miscue
Joanne Webber, an experianced trainer of 5 years, broke her neck when an Orca landed on her during rehersal.
Unknown Mark McHugh Sea World, CA September 27, 1987 Accident
Mark McHugh was bitten on the hand while feeding an orca between shows
Unknown Chris Barlow Sea World, CA September 30, 1987 Attack
Chris Barlow was rammed in the stomach by a Sea World Orca during a show. He required hospitalization for the injuries.
Orky John Sillick Sea World, CA Novemeber 21, 1987 Miscue John Sillick fractured his vertabrae, femur, and pelvis while riding Corky. Appartenally, Orky was given the signal to breach by another trainer, not realising Sillick was riding Corky in that area.
Nootka 4 Henriette Huber Sealand of the Pacific, Can 1989 Accident
Nootka closed her mouth on trainer Henriette Huber's hand, then pulled her into the tank. Henriette's hand required several sitches.
Nootka 4 Steve Huxter Sealand of the Pacific 1989 Attack
Steve Huxter was pulled into the tank by Nootka while trying to remove a camera from her mouth. Another trainer had to rescue him
Nootka 4, Tillikum, & Haida 2 Keltie Byrne February 21, 1991 Sealand of the Pacific, Can Attack
20 year old Keltie Byrene slipped and fell into the whale pool. She was dragged, screaming across the pool and repeataldy submerged. Other trainers attempted to rescue her, but she eventualy drowned.
Kasatka Unknown Sea World, CA June 12, 1999 Attack
Kasatka, a domiant female, suddenly began acting erractically during a show. She grabbed him by the leg and attempted to throw him out of the pool. The show was cancelled and the whale's behavior returned to normal. Appartentally, she was preoccupied by events happening in another pool.
Tillikum Unknown Guest Sea World, Fl July 5, 1999 Accident
A dead, naked body was discovered in the early moring, draped over Tillikum, an adult male. The man had hidden in the park after closing, removed his clothing and jumped in with the whale. This was Tillikum's second fatal incident, the first being the 1991 death of Keltie Bryene.

As you can see, this project is far from finished! If you have any information, photos, or comments regarding this page, please feel free to send us an email!