Waco wave pool shut down until March 2019 and an investigation is underway.
New Jersey surfer Fabrizio O. Stabile, age 29, passed away on Friday, September 21, 2018 at the Atlantic City Medical Centre after contracting an illness called Naegleria Fowleri, also commonly referred to as “brain eating Amoeba”.
The extremely rare illness is usually contracted by coming into contact with warm, fresh water, and Fabrizio had recently surfed the Waco wave pool at BSR Cable Park in Texas.
BSR Cable Park immediately closed its doors until March 2019, and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention are currently testing the water for signs of the deadly amoeba.
Kelly Craine, a spokesperson for Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, told CBS news, “The CDC collected water samples and are currently investigating to find the source. We hope to have results by the end of the week.”
The owner of the the park, Stuart E. Parsons Jr, said he intends to comply and assist with the investigation. He also sent his sympathies to the family of Fabrizio saying, "Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends and the New Jersey surf community during this difficult time.”
It was reported on Beach Grit that all future bookings for the wave pool have been iced for the time being. Refunds are not being offered, only gift cards in the amount spent to be used in the future.
Pending the outcome of the investigation, there might also be legal trouble brewing for BSR Cable Park. The family of 18-year-old Lauren Seitz, an Ohio woman who also died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba at a North Carolina outdoor recreational park has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the operator.
It’s a tragic outcome for Fabrizio and his family, and whether it was caused by the water in Waco or not, hopefully this means tighter controls on water quality at wave pools around the world so it never happens again.