SeaWorld Trainer's Death Honored - NBC Chicago

SeaWorld Trainer's Death Honored

SeaWorld trainer remembered one year later



    SeaWorld Trainer's Death Honored
    Brancheau Family

    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.

    SeaWorld Trainer Laid to Rest

    [CHI] 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.
    (Published Monday, March 1, 2010)

    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."