SeaWorld Trainer's Death Honored

SeaWorld trainer remembered one year later

By Lauren Morales
|  Thursday, Feb 24, 2011  |  Updated 1:04 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Blizzard 2011: Animals in the Snow

Brancheau Family

Photos and Videos

SeaWorld Trainer Laid to Rest

Hundreds of mourners turned out Monday for the funeral for Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by one of the SeaWorld's orcas.
More Photos and Videos

It's a sad day for Darlyne Klages, who prayed one year ago today that the SeaWorld accident she heard about from a coworker didn't involve her sister, Northwest Indiana native Dawn Brancheau, a trainer of 15 years.

Sadly, Klages had a gut feeling that it did.

Brancheau died during an incident following a SeaWorld show with Tilikum, a six-ton orca whale. Tilikum suddenly pulled the trainer by her hair and dragged her underwater, killing her in front of a shocked audience.

One year later, Klages, 47, remembers all too vividly the events of that day, she tells the Chicago Tribune in a rare interview.

She told the paper she called her sister after hearing about the accident, but there was no response. She left a message saying, "Please tell me this isn't you."

The family has since started the Dawn Brancheau Foundation, a tribute to the trainer and her legacy of helping others.

SeaWorld continues to perform its "Believe" show with Tilikum absent and without trainers in the water. After five years, a new show will begin in its place next month.

For Klages and her family, today will be spent remembering better times and a sister who Klages says, "showed us how to live a good life."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out