A performer was injured and hospitalized on Monday during a performance at the Waterworld stunt show (formally known as Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular) at Universal Studios Hollywood. The performer’s name and current condition have been kept private, but police and local media reported that yesterday afternoon, a performer dove into the water as part of the stunt show, and did not come back up when he was expected to. Another performer in the show went underwater to bring him back up, and he was rushed to the hospital. An audience member commenting on a local news piece noted that there are flags and checkpoints throughout the show, so it’s likely that the quick response from other cast members was because the injured man had missed one, alerting other performers to his plight.
The stunt show has been in operation since 1995, when it opened alongside the film of the same name. It includes pyrotechnics, stunts, giant water splashes, and the simulated crash of a sea plane.
“We can confirm a performer with one of our long-standing show vendors was transported to the hospital following a stunt during an afternoon performance and our thoughts are with him as he receives care. Details surrounding the event are being reviewed. As always, safety is our top priority in our day-to-day operations,” a spokesperson for Universal Studios Hollywood said.
You can see a local news story covering the situation below.
The Waterworld show is performed by highly trained stunt performers, as opposed to most Universal and Disney attractions, which are operated by cast members, due to the dangerous nature of the show. The show was cancelled after the injury and the audience was led out.
According to KTLA, the performer was non-responsive when 911 was called, but received CPR at the scene and was conscious while en route to the hospital.
A witness at the theme park told KABC that “the performer was on one of the towers, and as part of the act, fell into the water….The other workers noticed he was missing and went in the water to pull him up.”
While the Waterworld movie was a notorious box office bomb, the stunt show has become a fan-favorite over the years, and has likely done some good to the movie’s image, which improved after it hit home video and found a niche audience.