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Coast Guard Festival's carnival manager outlines inspections | News

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Coast Guard Festival's carnival manager outlines inspections
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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Crews assembled the carnival rides at the Coast Guard Festival on Monday. The midway opens on Tuesday.

WZZM 13 wanted know who inspects the equipment to make sure it's safe before families start lining up for rides.

Festival organizers say the rides range from mild to wild. They say the hands-on inspections are handled by the carnival company itself.

WZZM 13 spoke to the operation manager, who says the equipment is safe enough that he lets his own family go on the rides.

After all, risk-taking is a personal choice. Not everyone would climb to the top of the 50-foot Ring of Fire ride, like one worker WZZM 13 found. However, even thrill-seekers think about safety.

"We're just hoping all the screws are in place and everything's good to go," one visitor told WZZM 13.

"The rides are definitely 100 percent safe," said Dustin Skerbeck, operations manager for Skerbeck Family Carnival.

Skerbeck runs the carnival and is also in charge of safety inspections. He says his team carefully checks the equipment everyday.

"They'll have a clipboard with what needs to be inspected and they'll notate if there happens to be any issues and then of course we correct those before we open the ride for the day," Skerbeck said.

Skerbeck says the equipment also gets annual state inspections. He says he's received certification from the same organization that trains state inspectors.

WZZM 13 asked Skerbeck if he lets his own family go on the rides.

"Oh, definitely; my 6-year-old rides this stuff all the time," Skerbeck said. "We take the smallest kid ride with the same intensity and the same strict inspection process as we would the most intense ride out there."

It's the second year Skerbeck Family Carnival is running the show.

"They come with a long track record of safe operations; we're glad to have Skerbeck Family back here," said Scott Klaassen, vice chairman of the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival.

"I make the assumption that the powers that be are watching out for us pretty well," said another visitor.

The carnival begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and runs through Saturday after the fireworks.


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