A Tribute to a Believer: Dawn Brancheau

February 27, 2010, 3:07 PM · In memory of the late Dawn Brancheau, SeaWorld started the first of each of the Believe shows at each of the three SeaWorld Parks with a tribute.

One park guest by the name of Tina shared her thoughts on the SeaWorld's Blog Page:

"I just saw the tribute and show at Sea World Orlando and thought I should share my thoughts with those reading these blogs.

The Sea World flags at the front of the park are flying at half mast this morning. For a rainy day, the stadium was pretty full. Before the show, a young female trainer walked out Into the audience, stopping for a long hug with am attendent at the base of the stairs.

As they do before every show, the trainers emerge and cross the stairs on the platform. The women all have their hair tied up in buns this morning. They keep coming - more of them than usual. They are all here this morning. The audience is on their feet. A standing ovation for their strength and courage and for their fallen friend. The show hasn't yet begun. The tears have.

Before the show, a short slide show of Dawn, and a statement dedicating the show to her. Many people in the audience are tearing up - it's already an emotional show.

The show starts, and is a typical 'dry' show. The little girl from the audience is a local girl from Kissimmee. Her dream is to be a Shamu trainer... It feels like a new beginning.

The end of the show, and no Tilikum for splashing. There are 5 other whales doing the job he is so good at. As the show ends, you can see the emotion on the faces of some of the trainers faces. There is joy amongst the sadness - they are living their dreams too.

Another standing ovation, and more tears on the faces of those leaving the stadium. Things are moving on, but Dawn is surely missed and loved. They all are loved. There is a lot of love and support for the Sea world family today." - Tina

Check out the comments and SeaWorld's full blog here.

The Orlando Sentinel also reported that none of the trainers where in the water at the same time as the whales and will continue to be so until the investigation is completed.

As it has already been said many times before but can not be said enough, our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this very difficult time.

Replies (6)

February 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM · Thanks for the terrific report. We could picture it all and see the faces of the trainers as you described them. Thanks.
February 27, 2010 at 8:58 PM · Sounds like they did it right. Thanks for sharing this.
February 27, 2010 at 10:48 PM · Thank you for sharing. I'm so emotional about how Dawn died, I'm sure more than she is, for she loved these animals so dearly. She probably would have chosen this to be her death, if she had a choice, due to her enormous love/respect for them.

Dawn and Tilly are forever one now. I wouldn't be surprised to see her visit occassionaly on the back of Tilly, riding him faithfully/lovingly.

RIP, Dawn. You have touched me so deeply. I'm sure you're happy to know your beloved Tilly is still safe, like you always tried to show him. God bless you, you are so missed and never forgotten.

I dedicate the song by Cecila, "Amazing Grace", accompanied by the whale's song in the background, to you and Tilly. It seems most fiiting for the grace you have demonstrated here, and the respect the animals feel towards you.

All my love to you both,

February 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM · Beautiful!

My father is going to her wake today (she is back in Chicago). Its very sad!

February 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM · Nicely played, SW.
February 28, 2010 at 4:15 PM · I don't think Ms. Branscheau wanted to die that way!! I just
think she didn't have a crystal ball, and believed in that whale. She trusted him much too much. The fact remains we all have to die once. She was a very beautiful young lady, and I wish we could turn back time. I'd love to have seen her perform. The world lost a beautiful soul. I believe that with all my heart!

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