Diver fatality inside Zhengzhou Haichang Ocean Park witnessed by visitors mistaken for mannequin

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26th February 2024 – (Zhengzhou) A Zhengzhou oceanarium diver tragically lost his life while performing maintenance work in the penguin enclosure, an event that unfolded before numerous onlookers. The diver was later administered CPR by staff members before being rushed to the hospital.

According to social media reports, the incident took place at the Zhengzhou Haichang Ocean Park. Visuals from the scene showed a diver connected to an air hose lying motionless at the bottom of the tank. Approximately seven to eight visitors witnessed the unfolding drama, after which six to seven staff members converged on the spot to initiate rescue efforts.

An internet user mentioned that initially, there was confusion among the spectators, some of whom believed the figure at the bottom of the tank to be a mannequin. It was only after more than ten minutes that the diver was retrieved and emergency resuscitation efforts commenced before he was urgently transported to a medical facility.

On 21st February, staff from the Haichang Ocean Park confirmed the incident, noting that it had been addressed. “The specifics of the resolution are not entirely clear to me, as we are also conducting an internal review,” one employee stated. In response to online speculation suggesting the diver was working alone without a buddy, the staff member expressed that such rumours might not be entirely accurate.

On 22nd February,  Zhengzhou Haichang Ocean Park Tourism Development. Co., Ltd.  issued a statement clarifying the events of February 12. Around 4.30pm, during routine underwater cleaning operations in the penguin exhibit, a staff member experienced difficulties resulting in drowning and, despite resuscitation efforts, sadly passed away.

The park is actively cooperating with the investigation of the event, working in conjunction with the labour service company to provide care and consolation to the victim’s family, stating that all necessary aftercare arrangements have been respectfully concluded. The management of Zhengzhou Haichang expressed their deep sorrow and regrets over the incident. In light of the event, the park emphasised its commitment to safety management, stating that they have intensified supervision and preventive measures to ensure the safety and security of the premises.