uShaka chemical hoax goes viral

Marencha Nagel, Quinten van Heerden, Linda Nagel and Kimicha Maritz enjoy the cools water at uShaka Marine World after hoax rumours of dangerous chemicals in the water this week.

WHILE holidaymakers continue to flood Durban’s beaches and attractions, one of the biggest water theme park’s, uShaka Marine World was the victim of a holiday hoax message discouraging holidaymakers and locals from visting the park.

The hoax message which Berea Mail received on numerous occasions on Monday morning read: Hi guys please stay away from uShaka, there are three kids in ICU at the moment, there’s hydro-chloride in the water, bc and save your family, friends or even your child.

Although the message was broadcast on Blackberry Messenger and Whatsapp as well as other social media, when Berea Mail visited the popular park, on Tuesday afternoon, it was filled with holiday makers and locals taking advantage of the sunny weather.

Visitors were unaware of the hoax and didn’t seem phased by it, one visitor who wished to remain anonymous said it could have been a prank to ensure the prankster’s family enjoyed the park without too many crowds.

Liezel Sechlebusch of Pretoria didn’t hear anything about the hoax but wasn’t interested either way as nothing would have kept her son from playing on the slides.

Leila Saal said her mother didn’t take these hoaxes seriously and was happy to enjoy the warm Durban water.

uShaka Marine World’s management were most disturbed to hear of a number of completely untrue and alarming rumours circulating about the use of dangerous chemicals to treat the water in the park.

“It is believed that a hoax email, which originated in the United States in 1990, is being used to discredit uShaka Marine World. This states that the chemical dihydrogen (H2) monoxide (O) is present in the pools. This is actually another name for water (H2O) and the initial hoax was created by chemistry students who intended to demonstrate that the general public was extremely ignorant when it came to scientific information,” said Marketing Director, Bongani Mthiyane.

uShaka management would like to appeal to all visitors to uShaka Marine World to ignore the hoax. “All water at uShaka Marine World undergoes constant filtration and treatment using substances that are proven to be completely safe in order to comply with strict safety specifications. The water is tested regularly,” added Mthiyane.

Lorna Charles

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