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SeaWorld agrees to stricter orca trainer safety rules

SeaWorld and California state regulators have agreed on a proposed settlement over allegations that the park failed to train workers to safely interact with its killer whales. | AP file photo

SAN DIEGO — SeaWorld and California state regulators have agreed on a proposed settlement over allegations that the park failed to train workers to safely interact with its killer whales.

The California Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza told The Associated Press that the proposal has been submitted for approval to an administrative judge and the state agency’s appeals board.

If approved, it would dismiss all four worker safety citations and related fines, but require the park to adhere to strict guidelines on how whales and trainers interact.

The proposed agreement would ban surfing on, swimming under and standing on orcas.

The citations claimed the park didn’t keep employees aware of hazards involving the orcas. A park spokesman said SeaWorld supports the proposed guidelines.