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Transcript of Blackfish Script
TEXT: February 24, 2010 SeaWorld Orlando
DISPATCHER: Orange County Fire Rescue.
Uh, 6600 Sea Harbor Drive. Um, Shamu Stadium.
We actually have a trainer in the water with one of our whales, the whale that -- they're not suppose to be in the water with?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We'll get somebody en route and ...
Enter gate number 3, the Shamu stadium.
Orange County Sheriff's Office.
We need SO to respond for a dead person at SeaWorld. Uh, a whale has eaten one of the trainers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A whale ate one of the trainers?
CUT TO SEAWORLD COMMERCIAL
JOHN HARGROVE, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
My parents first brought me to a SeaWorld park when I was very young. From
that point forward, I was hooked. It meant everything to me because, you know, I've never wanted anything more.
SAMANTHA BERG, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I remember, you know, being probably in first or second grade, watching National Geographic Specials or Mutual of Omaha's specials and seeing whales
and seeing dolphins. And you know, as a little kid, just being really incredibly inspired by it. I never went to Sea World. I grew up in New York so I went to the
JEFFERY VENTRE, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I grew up on a lake with horses. We'd swim the horses.
KIM ASHDOWN, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I grew up around the ocean.
JOHN JETT, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER: I came from the middle of the country in flat land Kansas.
MARK SIMMONS, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER: I'm from Virginia, travel down, did the theme park thing in Orlando when I was
17 and saw the night show at Shamu Stadium, very emotional, you know, popular music and I was just -- I was very driven to wanna do that.
KIM ASHDOWN, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER: And I saw what the trainers did. And I said, "That's what I want to do."
DEAN GORNERSALL, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER: One of the trainers there and do, "What are you doing out there, you should be
a trainer?" I know how to train animals and Ive never trained animals in my life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, in video: How do you prepare yourself for an encounter with an 8,000 pound Orcinus
KIM ASHDOWN, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I always thought you needed like a Master's Degree in marine biology to be a trainer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, in video: It takes years of study and experience to meet the strict requirements
necessary to interact in the water with Shamu.
KIM ASHDOWN, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
Come to find out, it really is more about your personality and how good you can swim.
I went to try out, got the job by the way. I'm like, yeah, I'm so excited and I was so, so excited.
I really wanted to be there. I really wanted to do the job. I couldn't wait to get in the water with the animals. I really was proud of being a SeaWorld trainer. You
know, I thought this was the most amazing job.
CAROL RAY, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I showed up there on my first day, not really knowing what to expect. I was told
to put on wet suit and get in the water.
YOUNGER CAROL RAY, flashback video: Hi mom.
RAY: I was scared outta my wits.
First of all, I put my wet suit on backwards because I was raised on -- in a farm
SIMMONS: My first part in memory at that time was that dolphins are a lot bigger than
they look when you get in the water next to him.
Well, I watch the sea lion under show and this guy Mike Morocco. He comes
out during the show with the dress on as Dorky, the alter ego of Dorothy, in a dress with a sea lion -- the coward sea lion, right. He's walking along with his
little basket. I go, "I will never ever do that, you know." Two months later, "Hi, I'm Dorky," walking out on stage with the sea lion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #1: I was overwhelmed and I was so excited. I mean, just seeing a killer whale is
JOHN JETT, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I was just in awe. It's shocking to see how large they are and how beautiful they are.
Being, you know, in the presence of the killer whale, it was just inspiring and amazing and I remember seeing them for the first time, it's not being able to
believe how huge they were. You're there because you want to train killer whales and that's your goal. I didn't know what's going to happen so I wasn't
expecting it. And one day, they say "OK Sam, you're ready to go."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, IN FLASHBACK:
Come on, you got it.
You're going to stand on the whale, you're going to dive off the whale. The whale's going to swim under you and pick you up again then you're going do a
perimeter ride around the pool. They just told me to go do it and I did it. Wow, I just rode a killer whale.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, IN FLASHBACK: Yey, girly.
When you look into their eyes, you know somebody is home, somebody is
looking back. You form a very personal relationship with your animal.
There is something absolutely amazing about working with an animal. You are a team and you build a relationship together and you both understand the goal
and you help each other.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, IN FLASHBACK VIDEO:
I feel like this whale she's probably 18 years old. I've seen her all four of her babies. We've grown up together.
SIMMONS: That's the joy I got out of it is this is a relationship like I've never had.
CUT TO VIDEO OF JEFFREY VENTRE BEFORE A SHOW AT SEAWORLD
DAWN BRANCHEAU: Bro, I have to know, are you nervous?
CUT TO FOUR FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINERS WATCHING VIDEO
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice hair Jeff.
CUT TO VIDEO OF JEFFREY VENTRE DURING A SHOW AT SEAWORLD
JEFF VENTRE: Did you see anything?
JEFFREY VENTRE, FORMER SEAWORLD TRAINER:
I knew Dawn when she was new. She's a great person to work with and she obviously blossomed into one of the SeaWorld's best trainers.
NEWS REPORTER: This is Dawn Brancheau. Dawn is the senior trainer here at Shamu Stadium.
I guess you could say I kind of knew Dawn the past life.
It's a tough job, isn't it?
Yes, we really do go to a lot of physical exertion, you can see in the show. You do a lot of deep water work, breath hold and very high energy behaviors with
the animals. Obviously, they're given a lot of energy too but we're working
together and having a lot of fun as well.
She's beautiful. She's blonde. She's athletic. She is friendly. You know, everybody loves Dawn.
And I mean this is sincerely, I've been watching you performing yesterday.
BRANCHEAU: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You really are.
She captured what it means to be a SeaWorld trainer. She had so much experience and it made me realize what happened to her really could have
happen to anyone.
TEXT ON SCREEN: February 2, 2010. Orange County Sheriffs Department case #10-16715.
Detective Revere interviews SeaWorld Paramedic Thomas Tobin.
This is Detective Revere at Orange County Sherriff's office. Today's date is
February 24, 2010, the time is 4:15. In the room with me right now is Thomas George Tobin, is that correct?
THOMAS TOBIN, SEAWORLD PARAMEDIC:
Did you see any blood in the water or anything like that?
Well, that's part of it -- she was scalped and there was no blood.
TOBIN: So, pretty much we knew then that the heart wasn't beating.
REVERE: Once they were able to pull her away, how did he let go of the ...
TOBIN: He didn't.
He never let go of the ...
... the arm.
He swallowed it.
REVERE: He swallowed it? So the arm is nowhere.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sues SeaWorld of Florida, LLC
OSHA, on behalf of the federal government, is basically suggesting that swimming with orcas is inherit the dangers and that you can't completely predict the outcome when you enter the water or enter their environment.
DAVE DUFFUS, OSHA EXPERT WITNESS, WHALE RESEARCHER:
I see cracks in the OSHA case. Stay out of proximity with the animals and you won't get killed.
JOHN JETT: It's -- It will have a ripple effect to the whole industry. This was national
CUT TO NEWS CLIP, WESH 2
SeaWorld's whale performances may never be the same.
But right now, the theme park is arguing in court to keep whale trainers in the
water something OSHA says is extremely dangerous.
CUT TO CLIP OF THE VIEW
These are wild animals and they are unpredictable because we