The “Space Bowl” water slide at Cardiff International Pool in which a Penarth professor was injured

A Penarth professor who was injured on the “Space Bowl” water-slide at Cardiff International Pool is now passing on a formal complaint he’s made to the pool management to Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) and to Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth .

The incident happened on March 10th 2018 when Dr Marc Buehner and his family were at the International Pool – just across the River Ely from Penarth.

Dr Buehner says his slide down the Space Bowl  was the last of the day. He’s told the pool management “Within seconds of staring the ride, I noticed that something was wrong — my back hurt and burnt and I did what I could to slow down the ride. It very much felt as if there was not enough water flowing down the flume — there was too much friction.

Dr Buehner sustained friction burns in the water slide and his swimming trunks had two corresponding holes in them – burned through by the heat of the friction.

Upon exiting the slide Dr Buehner says “I rejoined with my family and told them what happened. They looked at my back and were horrified to see two bruises / gym burns just above my buttock, and two matching holes in my swimming trunks “.

The duty manager was informed immediately, recorded the incident in the accident book and assured Dr Buehner me he would contact him “within a few days with further information, once an investigation has taken place.”

The manager later informed Dr Buehner that “no faults were found in the slide“, but acknowledged that the visit might not have been “to the standard expected” and offered Dr Buehner two “complimentary tickets”.

The heat generated by coming down the slide was so great that two holes were burned through Dr Buehner’s swimming trunks. The pool management has refused to replace the trunks.

Dr Buehner has pointed out that, as he’s already a member of the pool, complimentary tickets are of no use to him – but invited the management to consider replacing his damaged swimming trunks which were burned through in two places by the heat generated coming down the slide.

He also asked the management to stop stonewalling and tell him what had caused the accident . He’;s told them Surely it is perfectly normal for a customer who suffers injury and material loss to be given an explanation as to why that occurred?” . He says I dread to think how children or less able adults would have been affected had the same accident happened to them.”

The International Pool management has said that Dr Buehner’s suggestion “that a sufficient amount of water was not present on the slide” is “not accurate” – and insist that “the slides are fit for purpose, and no defects or anything untoward was found.”

Dr Buehner says he is now referring the matter not only to Stephen Doughty MP and local AM Vaughan Gething – but may also take the matter to the Health and Safety Executive.  Such a move could result in a temporary closure of the Space Bowl ride pending an official inspection.

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  1. Taffy says:

    B et he didn’t have to wait a week or two to see the GP!!!

    • mjbuehner says:

      Actually, I decided not to see a GP so as not to put extra strain on the system and the burns just healed naturally anyway. Besides, I am not a medical doctor as perhaps suggested by the article. I am a professor at Cardiff University

  2. Papa Lazarou says:


  3. Chris David says:

    I wonder how many other persons have experienced the same trauma?

  4. John Powell says:

    Taffy –
    Don’t understand your comment, unless you think he is a GP ?

  5. Peter Church says:

    I hurt my toe when swimming in Barry island. I kicked a rock that was below the water surface, how could I be expected to see it?
    I rang the council immediately but they were not interested.
    I realise now I should have contacted my AM and MP, how stupid I was!
    Will I get compensation 🙂

  6. whatsoccurin says:

    His “injuries” hardly seem life threatening-I have always steered clear as I am afraid of getting jammed in the tube-now that would be worth reporting!

    • mjbuehner says:

      No they are not — then again you wouldn’t go to a place where you expect life threatening injuries would you?

  7. Daniel Adams says:

    What a pathetic injury. Have we really turned into such a weak society full of self pity always looking for the next claim? Man up snow flake. Yes, it shouldn’t have happened but what exactly is this gentleman looking for? Thousands of pounds in compensation?? I think a free ticket to the pool or something equivalent (as he’s already a member) is more than adequate.

  8. Sadie says:

    All the negative comments….it would be different if it was a child which it could have easily been

    • mjbuehner says:

      Exactly – thank you Sadie! It is not so much about the injury or ruined trunks (though they cost quite a bit more than a ticket to the pool!), but about the rude and not-my-problem attitude of the management.

    • Tom Perry says:

      Par for the course Sadie

    • Penarth realist1 says:

      A child would have been much lighter so the laws of physics would say no burns. Perhaps only kids should use the space ball.
      Poor doctor. Heal thyself.

  9. Peter Church says:

    What a cheek the man has!!
    Is this an April 1st story?, if so it’s a weak late.

  10. Andrew Worsley says:

    Well I fell down in the street when I was about 7 and hurt my knee but I didn’t even moan to my Mum and when I was 10 my leg was broken by a cyclist and I could go on and on , I have also had lots of other trauma in my life pity there wasn’t the internet back then.

  11. Betty Boo says:

    As you have a PHD (Dr) you are clearly intelligent! However, the photo of the back of your swimming trunks shows disintegrated holes left by the melting/extreme wear of circular metal rivets that are always placed around the ‘ventilation’ holes in the back and front of all men’s swimwear. As this seems to coincide with the bruising you claim to have ‘suffered’ (as a result of the slide) this, combined with the fact that nobody else has encountered this situation, one can only assume that you/your wife has, at some point put your swimming shorts in the tumble dryer (which you should never do) and that has caused the said rivets to partially melt, thus causing your ‘injury’ when ‘playing’ on the water slide!?! Whilst this has clearly been so upsetting for you that you’ve felt the need to contact Stephen Doughty MP and the ‘local’ AM please could you bare in mind that there are many people in Penarth who are living below the poverty line/have no access to adequate/or suitable housing/struggle to feed/clothe their children etc…and would love to be able to take their kids to the International Pool! It’s a shame that you turned down the generous offer of complimentary tickets when you could have donated them to a parent in Penarth who would’ve loved the opportunity to go down the waster slide with their kids during the Easter Holidays….Now THAT is what I find upsetting – not bruises or burns on your moany backside! Maybe spend some of your valuable time contacting MP Stephen Doughty about the above plight (no doubt) of some of your child’s/children’s fellow classmates or at the very least stop wasting his time with a ‘complaint’ such as this, so that those who have ‘real’ issues are dealt with and helped before yourself….middle class problems eh?!

    • RIchard Price says:

      I think you’ll find that Stephen Doughty was abroad on a “fact-finding” freebie to Somaliland at the time.

    • marcjens says:

      Well Betty, I applaud your scientific thinking. I can assure you, though that the trunks do not have ventilation holes in the back, nor were they ever tumble dried. I am chuckling at the thought that melting the rivets in the dryer would have caused the burns – presumably the wearer of the trunks would have needed to be in the dryer at the same time?

      • Chris David says:

        What on earth did you really do your PhD on? Not some American thing was it? Where and what is your chair? I’m sure you’re not like the Hazel guy 🙂

  12. Chris David says:

    Pity he doesn’t do a fact find in Penarth- his forgotten constituency. Doughty has his own grandstanding agenda, knows where the majority of votes are and even supports Halal and Kosha slaughter. Still I’m sure he’ll find time for the good Dr’s swimming trunks. It’s all a bit pants really.

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