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SeaWorld Agrees To Stricter Safety Rules For Killer Whale Trainers

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/KCBS) -- SeaWorld and state regulators have agreed on a settlement after allegations the marine park had failed to train workers to safely interact with its captive killer whales.

The agreement would dismiss four worker safety citations and related fines of nearly $26,000.

The park would have to adhere to strict guidelines for interactions between whales and trainers such as no swimming under, surfing or standing on orcas,

Cal-OSHA still needs to sign off on the settlement.

SeaWorld discontinued "in-water" interaction between trainers and whales after the 2010 death of Dawn Branccheau. She drowned after she was attacked by a 12,000 orca named Tilikum, during a show in Orlando.

The marine park released a statement Tuesday, praising the settlement.

"This decision will allow SeaWorld to continue our critical animal care practices and trainer safety training methods," said park spokesperson Dave Koontz. "These techniques are important to the safety of our trainers and veterinary staff as well as the health and well-being of the orcas in our care."

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