Horrifying Words Of SeaWorld Trainer Dragged Under By Two Killer Whales

The heartbreaking words of Tamarie Tollison before she was dragged underwater during an orca attack at SeaWorld have gone viral.
Credit: Magnolia Pictures

The horrifying words of SeaWorld trainer Tamarie Tollison, who ‘knew she was going to die’ as she was dragged underwater by two huge orcas, have gone viral.

SeaWorld has been at the centre of a huge controversy over keeping killer whales ever since the shocking death of trainer Dawn Brancheau and the release of the documentary film Blackfish.

The movie discusses the ‘controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales’, and is highly critical of keeping the animals confined.

And now, the harrowing words Tollison cried out as she was pulled underwater by two giant orcas have resurfaced.

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Former SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove explains in Blackfish that attacks by orcas are not a fault of the animals, but a result of their experiences in captivity.

He says: “Physical and psychological damage endured by human prisoners in solitary confinement is well documented. Orcas at amusement parks such as SeaWorld suffer the same fate.

“I can tell you from my 14 years of experience that I personally witnessed the orcas – as well as other dolphins and marine animals – suffer the same physical and psychological trauma.

“Imagine spending your entire life trapped in a small enclosure.”

He adds: “That is exactly what we did at SeaWorld. The main takeaway with creating a hybrid orca is that you truly have no idea what you’ve created because they don’t exist in nature. So all things are possible.”

And now, one particularly terrifying orca attack is horrifying people all over the internet.

Tamarie Tollison at SeaWorld.
Tamarie Tollison gripped onto the edge of the pool before the orcas dragged her underwater. Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Tamarie Tollison, then aged 28, was relaxing alone at the edge of the whales’ pool and dangling her feet into the water when disaster struck.

Two orcas, named Orkid and Splash, suddenly reached up and dragged Tollison into the water by her foot.

A video of the attack, captured by an unsuspecting tourist on February 24, 2010, shows the horrifying moment Tollison was pulled under.

The gut-wrenching words she cried out before being dragged under have left the internet in horror.

“I can’t imagine being pulled down by two huge KILLER WHALES. It gives me chills,” one person comments.

“Chilling,” another adds.

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Tollison was whipped around in the water as she let out ‘blood-curdling screams’ and cried out the haunting words: “Somebody help me”.

Recalling the moment, ex-SeaWorld employee Hargrove explains: “She’s under the water, Splash and Orkid both have her, she’s totally out of view, no other trainer knows that this is happening.

“People start to scream. You hear Tamarie just scream out ‘Somebody help me’ and the way she screamed it was just blood-curdling.

“She knew she was going to die.”

Luckily, a quick-thinking trainer, Robin Sheets, released a third, more dominant orca, named Kasatka, into the tank, which made Orkid and Splash leave Tollison alone.

Hargrove went on to explain that Tollison’s arm was ‘u-shaped’ from a compound fracture and she is ‘very lucky to be alive, that’s for sure’.

Sadly, this isn’t the only tragedy to occur at SeaWorld. In 2010, SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in front of a live audience by her orca partner, Tilikum.

Brancheau and Tilikum had worked together frequently at the Orlando theme park’s iconic Shamu show.

Tragically, the whale turned on Brancheau and she became the third fatality that Tilikum was associated with.

Thankfully, the Associated Press confirms that trainers are no longer allowed to swim in the water with the orcas during shows at the Shamu Stadium pool.

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.