2006 video shows whale's violence to trainer - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

2006 video shows whale's violence to trainer

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SAN DIEGO -

Whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by a whale at Sea World in Orlando back in 2010. Her death sparked a federal investigation into the potential dangers faced by trainers at the park.

New video has surfaced of another whale attack -- this one from 2006. It was just released as part of ongoing lawsuits and investigations into Sea World's safety standards.

The video is chilling -- but lawyers say it proves Sea World has known for a while how dangerous it was for the trainers to get into the water with the whales.

The show is seen by thousands every day at Sea World in San Diego, but on this day, people would witness something that no one ever expected. A horror movie played out live before them.

Whale trainer Ken Peters dives into the water with Kasatka the whale. But on this night, just minutes into the performance, the whale grabs a hold of Peters' foot and won't let go.

Peters struggled to stay above water as the whale twists and turns. Its powerful jaw still clamps onto his foot. Then the whale pulls him underwater.

There is nothing Peters can do -- there is no way he can get the whale to loosen it's grip.

All he can do now is hold his breath and brace himself as Kasatka violently whips him around -- back and forth like a rag doll.

Still -- Peters tries to swim towards the surface, only to be snapped back. At this point, after more than a minute underwater, the whale surges to the surface, giving Peters a chance to gasp for some air.

You can see here the grip Kasatka has on Peters' foot. It's firmly in the whale's mouth. She won't let go.

Peters tries to calm Kasatka while at the same time trying to remain calm himself, but you can see how hard he is breathing after being underwater for so long.

And surely out of panic, he tells the other trainers to stay out of the water for fear of further agitating the whale.

A few minutes pass and Kasatka appears to have finally relaxed, but she was not done. She takes him down again.

Another minute and a half underwater --- struggling to reach the surface -- the whale has now been clamped on Peters' foot for more than nine minutes

The show stadium has been cleared of all visitors and emergency crews have been called to be ready. The whale surfaces and this time releases Peters' foot.

He waits for the right moment to swim away as fast as he can.

At first the whale follows him, but then swims away, uninterested in continuing the ordeal. Two other trainers are there to pull him to safety.

Emergency crews are also there to treat him.

BIG INTERVIEW | We spoke with UT San Diego reporter Lori Weisberg on what this means to Sea World. Press play.

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