The Tidal Wave Pool
The first patron death occurred here in 1982; another visitor would drown in this common water-park attraction five years later. It was, however, the number of people the lifeguards saved from a similar fate that made this the only Waterworld attraction to gain its own nickname, "The Grave Pool." It was 100 feet (30 m) wide by 250 feet (76 m) long and could hold 500 to 1,000 people. Waves were generated for 20 minutes at a time with 10-minute intervals between them, and could reach as much as 40 inches (102 cm) in height. It was not always obvious that pool depth increased as one got closer to the far end, and there were patrons who only remembered or realized that they could not swim when they were in over their heads and the waves were going full blast. Even those who could swim well did not realize that the waves, asfresh water, were not as buoyant as their ocean counterparts, and they sometimes exhausted themselves doing more swimming than they were ready for, causing patrons to crowd the side ladders as the waves began, leading to many accidents. Twelve lifeguards were on duty at all times, and on high-traffic weekends they were known to rescue as many as 30 people, compared to the one or two the average lifeguard might make in a typical season at a pool or lake. Mountain Creek continues to operate this attraction as the "High Tide Wavepool" but made the pool much shallower.