Zipline riders ignoring braking procedures injure guide

Incident Investigation

Zipline riders ignoring braking procedures injure guide

August 20, 2017

Amusement Devices

Reference Number:


Incident overview

Zipline rider collided with guide in the landing area.

Regulated industry sector

Amusement devices - Zipline


District of North Vancouver

Investigation Conclusions

Site, system and components

2 parallel ziplines ropes approximately 90 m long.

  • Previous inspection records indicate an average rider speed of 10.9 m/s.

  • Brakes at landing consist of a configuration of helical springs with no trolley capturing mechanism and no spring recoil holding feature (part of the ride experience is that the rider’s trolley engages the springs and then is recoiled back out of the landing area).

  • The riders are instructed by the zipline guides to assume a “braking position”(knees up both hands on the trolley handle) as they approach the landing area. Signage at the launch area illustrates this, “braking position”.


Failure scenario(s)

2 zipline riders, each riding on adjacent parallel ziplines ropes, approached the landing area holding hands. A staff member (zipline guide) at the landing area that was standing between the zipline ropes, fearing being clotheslined, and attempted to dodge the approaching riders. One of the rider’s leg made hard contact with the guide as the guide moved to the side.

Facts and evidence

  • The zipline riders were given a demonstration and provided with instruction as to the “ brake position” (both hands on the trolley bar and knees up) prior to the start of the tour. The guide also provided further instruction, that as the riders approach the landing, the guide will call for the riders to assume the brake position by calling out, “hands on the bar, knees up”.
  • At the first zipline (rider’s proceed through multiple ziplines as part of the zipline tour) the guide observed that all riders performed the brake position maneuver correctly indicating that there was no misunderstandings or language barriers.
  • Riders proceeded through to the next zipline and rider again performed the brake position correctly.
  • At the 3rd zipline the guide indicated to the riders that riders were permitted to lean across between the 2 lines and hold hands.
  • The riders were holding hands as they traveled down the zipline. As they approached the landing the guide called for them to assume the brake position (“hands on bar knees up”) on 2 occasions. The riders continued to hold hands (after making hard contact with the guide) and as they were recoiled back out of the landing area.



  • Injury
    • Qty injuries: 1
    • Injury description: Tibia fracture
    • Injury rating: Moderate
  • Damage
    • Damage description: None
    • Damage rating: NA

Incident rating


439.71 KB