10 most popular U.S. water parks

Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, attracted more people than any other U.S. water park in 2013, with 2.1 million visitors.

(CNN) — Want to surf 4-foot waves or snorkel in coral reefs as the summer sun shines bright?

There’s no need to book your flight to Hawaii or Palau. The top 10 water parks in the United States have waves, reefs, tubing and water slides.

Disney water parks came in first and second place for attendance among North American water parks on the 2013 Theme Index, which tracks theme park and water park attendance around the globe. Nearly 11 million people headed to the top 10 water parks in the United States in 2013, and about 4 million headed to two Disney World water parks in Florida.

The index, released this month as part of the TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report, tracks water park attendance in North America, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and the Middle East.

On the global list, Chimelong Waterpark in Guangzhou, China, ranked No. 1 in the world for water park attendance, followed by two Disney World parks in second and third places. Parks in South Korea, Brazil and Australia joined other Orlando, Florida, parks to round out the top 10 most visited parks globally.

Click through the gallery above to see the top 10 most visited water parks in the United States.

World’s top 25 amusement parks

World’s top 20 museums

Militants invade Iraqi oil refinery

BBC map

Paul Wood in Jalula, eastern Iraq: ”There is growing panic… they think the jihadis are coming in”

Islamist-led militants have invaded Iraq’s biggest oil refinery, after pounding it with mortars and machine guns from two directions.

Stories from inside Iraq refugee camp

Further north, the Iraqi government said it had recaptured the citadel in the strategic town of Tal Afar, where militants were said to have taken control on Monday.

Using unusually strong language, Mr Maliki accused Saudi Arabia – which is largely Sunni – of backing ISIS.

He also fired four army commanders for failing to halt the sweeping advance by the militants. They included the top commander for Nineveh, the first province where ISIS fighters made major gains.

With Shia areas of the capital bombed almost daily, correspondents say inhabitants of Baghdad have developed a siege mentality.

People with enough money have started to stockpile essential items of food, correspondents say, which has increased prices dramatically.

ISIS grew out of an al-Qaeda-linked organisation in Iraq

Iraq ‘massacre’ photos: What we know

Are you in Iraq or do you have family there? Have you been affected by recent events? You can send us your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk using the subject line “Iraq”.

Or you can get in touch using the form below.

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

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Mount Rainier search for writer called off

(CNN) — Authorities called off the Mount Rainier search for hiker Karen Sykes after a body was discovered in the area, but its identity has not been established.

The body was found in steep terrain in the area where rescuers focused during the search for Sykes, 70. Its identity and cause of death are unclear.

The Seattle resident vanished Wednesday while hiking the Owyhigh Lakes Trail with her hiking partner.

They separated in the afternoon and planned to meet at the same location later, but she never returned, Mount Rainier National Park said in a statement. Her hiking partner reported her missing the same night.

Sykes is an outdoor journalist and is considered an experienced hiker.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner will determine the identity of the body, which was discovered off-trail in an area that’s hard to access and rarely traveled.

6 missing Mount Rainier climbers believed to have fallen

World’s 7 most remote islands

The British island group of Tristan da Cunha stands profoundly alone in the South Atlantic. The nearest landfall is South Africa, 1,750 miles to the east.

(CNN) — Idiotic TV shows and all the latest apps bumming you out on the 21st century? Ready for some “me time” on the world’s remotest islands?

Forget golden sands and swaying palms — the reality of solitude is different as these terrifyingly distant landfalls demonstrate.

Tristan da Cunha
1,750 miles from South Africa

The British island group of Tristan da Cunha stands profoundly alone in the South Atlantic. The nearest landfall is South Africa, 1,750 miles east, and to the west, South America is more than 2,000 miles.

It’s the world’s most remote inhabited island chain — so precariously occupied that when a volcanic vent erupted in 1961, the whole population was evacuated to England.

Reaching Tristan da Cunha: This is no easygoing excursion.

To quote the official website, “There are no package tours for independent travelers, no hotels, no airport, no holiday reps, no night clubs, no restaurants, no jet skis nor safe sea swimming.”

All visitors need to clear their arrivals in advance through the Island Council, and they also need to obtain a police certificate. (A 40-day wait is typical.)

There are around 10 sailings a year from Cape Town, South Africa, and Namibia, each taking five to six days to reach the islands; it costs $800-$1,500 for a round trip. A list of available ships can be found on the official website: www.tristandc.com.

Bear Island
400 miles off Europe’s north coast

Bjornoya, better known as Bear Island, is the southernmost island in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, 400 miles north of mainland Europe — but only on paper, given that it’s almost 150 miles south of the Norwegian island chain with which it’s lumped.

It’s been a nature reserve since 2002 and has a lively history of failed occupation — hard to believe for a place of barren cliffs, near-zero precipitation and risk of leaks of radioactive material from the nearby wreck of a nuclear submarine.

Reaching Bear Island: Getting to the heart of Svalbard is a relatively simple matter — there are daily flights from Oslo and Tromso to Svalbard’s capital, Longyearbyen, on the west coast of Spitsbergen.

Now it gets tricky. Research vessels infrequently call on Bear Island (the Norwegian Polar Institute makes an occasional appearance), while individually chartered boats and the occasional adventure cruise (such as this one from Polar Quest) haul in the remaining visitors.

1,000 miles from Antarctica

Tristan da Cunha is the remotest inhabited island in the world — now, welcome to its uninhabited, far bleaker counterpart.

Its cliffs are sheer. It’s almost entirely covered by a glacier. In winter, its seas are pack ice.

And its nearest neighbor is Antarctica, 1,000 miles to the south. In short, idyllic.

Reaching Bouvet: The entire island is a nature reserve — so unless you can make a compelling case for visiting, you’ll be blocked by Norwegian authorities.

Get permission, and it’s now a simple matter of finding a research vessel, quickly mastering a valuable skill such as arctic geological surveying or marine biology and then getting someone to land you via helicopter. (There are no ports or harbors.)

If all else fails, try becoming an amateur radio enthusiast: In 1990, a multinational expedition of operators spent 16 days on the island.

Bishop Rock
30 miles from England

Regarded by Guinness as the world’s smallest island with a building on it, Bishop Rock stands at the end of Britain’s Isles of Scilly, where coastal waters give way to the fury of the Atlantic.

In 1847, engineers started building an iron lighthouse there — and it washed away in a storm. Its extraordinary successor, first lit in 1858, stands to this day.

Reaching Bishop Rock: Visiting the most southwesterly point in Britain is surprisingly easy — the St. Mary’s Boatsmen’s Association runs day trips.

But as Martin Hesp notes, even on a “calm” day you’re in for serious chop.

60 miles off mainland Scotland

Love the Scottish islands, but want something with a little more bite? Head west of the Outer Hebrides, and you’ll find the archipelago of St. Kilda, 40 miles into the Atlantic.

It’s one of Scotland’s five World Heritage sites, with a main island that was abandoned in the 1930s when crops failed. Imagine the surprise of archaeologists when they found that one of the least hospitable islands, Boreray, was occupied in prehistoric times.

Reaching Boreray: Since Boreray comes under the protection of the National Trust for Scotland, you need its permission to visit.

Then? Lots of time and lots of luck — with a rugged shoreline and savage sea swell, this isn’t an island built for landings.

According to one guide, more people have reached the summit of Everest than have landed at Boreray since the National Trust took ownership in 1957.

North Sentinel Island

400 miles from Myanmar

North Sentinel is one of the 572 islands making up the Andaman chain in the Indian Ocean’s Bay of Bengal.

It’s surrounded by dangerous reefs, but North Sentinel is intimidating because of its inhabitants. The Sentinelese want nothing to do with the modern world and have repeatedly rebuffed attempts to make peaceful contact.

Reaching North Sentinel Island: You’re kidding, right? If the above description didn’t put you off, this article about a pair of fishermen who strayed onto the island certainly should.

270 miles from Ireland

If you think Boreray sounds forbidding, try sailing 187 miles west of it. Rockall is the tip of an extinct volcano reaching 20 meters (about 65 feet) above sea level, in seas with waves recorded as high as 29 meters (95 feet).

In 1955, the British Empire, in its final territorial acquisition, seized Rockall — allegedly due to fears the Soviets would build a missile battery on it.

Reaching Rockall: In the words of the recently minted Rockall Club, “visiting Rockall is difficult, completely weather dependent and not cheap.”

Your best bet is contacting Kilda Cruises and arranging a tailor-made excursion. Or you could sail there, lash yourself to the rock and claim it as your very own micronation — but you wouldn’t be the first.

The woman who saved a man with an SS tattoo

Keshia Thomas protecting the man

In 1996, a black teenager protected a white man from an angry mob who thought he supported the racist Ku Klux Klan. It was an act of extraordinary courage and kindness – and is still inspiring people today.

Keshia Thomas was 18 when the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacist organisation, held a rally in her home town in Michigan.

Liberal, progressive and multicultural, Ann Arbor was an unusual place for the KKK to choose, and hundreds of people gathered to show them they were not welcome.

The atmosphere was tense, but controlled. Police dressed in riot gear and armed with tear gas protected a small group of Klansmen in white robes and conical hoods. Thomas was with a group of anti-KKK demonstrators on the other side of a specially-erected fence.

Then a woman with a megaphone shouted, “There’s a Klansman in the crowd.”

They turned around to see a white, middle-aged man wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt. He tried to walk away from them, but the protesters, including Thomas, followed, “just to chase him out”.

It was unclear whether the man was a Ku Klux Klan supporter, but to the anti-KKK protesters, his clothes and tattoos represented exactly what they had come to resist. The Confederate flag he wore was for them a symbol of hatred and racism, while the SS tattoo on his arm pointed to a belief in white supremacy, or worse.

Teri Gunderson, who now lives in Oaxaca, Mexico, emailed BBC News Magazine about her respect for Keshia Thomas when we published a series about kindness earlier this month:

“Her courage so touched me that I keep a copy of the picture and often think of her in situations.

“The voice in my head says something like this, ‘If she could protect a man [like that], I can show kindness to this person.’ And with that encouragement, I do act with more kindness. I don’t know her, but since then I am more kind.”

There were shouts of “Kill the Nazi” and the man began to run – but he was knocked to the ground. A group surrounded him, kicking him and hitting him with the wooden sticks of their placards.

Mob mentality had taken over. “It became barbaric,” says Thomas.

“When people are in a crowd they are more likely to do things they would never do as an individual. Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘This isn’t right.'”

So the teenager, then still at high school, threw herself on top of a man she did not know and shielded him from the blows.

“When they dropped him to the ground, it felt like two angels had lifted my body up and laid me down.”

For Mark Brunner, a student photographer who witnessed the episode, it was who she saved that made Thomas’ actions so remarkable.

“She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her,” he says. “Who does that in this world?”

So what gave Thomas the impetus to help a man whose views it appeared were so different from her own? Her religious beliefs played a part. But her own experience of violence was a factor, too.

The Confederate flag wasn’t a major symbol until the Civil Rights movement began to take shape in the 1950s, says Bill Ferris, from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. It had been relegated to history, but the Ku Klux Klan and others who resisted desegregation turned to the flag as a symbol, he says.

“I knew what it was like to be hurt,” she says. “The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me.”

The circumstances – which she does not want to describe – were different. “But violence is violence – nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”

Thomas has never heard from the man she saved, but she did once meet a member of his family. Months later, someone came up to her in a coffee shop and said thanks. “What for?” she asked. “That was my dad,” the young man replied.

For Thomas, the fact that the man had a son gave her actions even greater significance – she had potentially prevented further violence.

“For the most part, people who hurt… they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let’s say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?”

Teri Gunderson, who was bringing up her two adopted mixed-race daughters in Iowa at the time, was so touched by Thomas’ story that she kept a copy of her picture – and still looks at it 17 years later. Gunderson even thinks the student made her a better person.

“The voice in my head says something like this, ‘If she could protect a man [like that], I can show kindness to this person.’ And with that encouragement, I do act with more kindness. I don’t know her, but since then I am more kind.”

“That some in Ann Arbor have been heard grumbling that she should have left the man to his fate, only speaks of how far they have drifted from their own humanity. And of the crying need to get it back.

Keshia’s choice was to affirm what they have lost.

Keshia’s choice was human.

Keshia’s choice was hope.”

By Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Leonard Pitts Jr. The Miami Herald, 29 June 1996

But she asks herself whether she could be as brave as Thomas. What if one of the hurtful people who had racially abused her girls was in danger, she wonders. “Would I save them, or would I stand there and say, ‘You deserved it, you were a jerk.’ I just don’t know the answer to that, yet. Maybe that is why I am so struck by her.”

Brunner and Gunderson both often think of the teenager’s actions. But Thomas, now in her 30s and living in Houston, Texas, does not. She prefers to concentrate on what more she can do in future, rather than what she has achieved in the past.

“I don’t want to think that this is the best I could ever be. In life you are always striving to do better.”

Thomas says she tries to do something to break down racial stereotypes every day. No grand gestures – she thinks that small, regular acts of kindness are more important.

“The biggest thing you can do is just be kind to another human being. It can come down to eye contact, or a smile. It doesn’t have to be a huge monumental act.”

Looking back at his photos of Thomas pushing back the mob that day in June 1996, Brunner says: “We would all like to be a bit like Keshia, wouldn’t we? She didn’t think about herself. She just did the right thing.”

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How the Pisces III was rescued

The Pisces craft hauled up after its rescue

Forty years ago two British sailors plunged almost 1,600ft into an abyss, 150 miles off Ireland, in a deep-sea submersible. Trapped in a 6ft-diameter steel ball for three days, the men had only 12 minutes of oxygen left when they were finally rescued.

The story of Pisces III, which made headlines at the time, is now largely forgotten.

But on Wednesday 29 August 1973 former Royal Navy submariner Roger Chapman, then 28, and engineer Roger Mallinson, then 35, plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean in an accident, sparking a 76-hour international rescue operation.

Here’s how the incident and rescue effort unfolded:

Pilot Roger Chapman and senior pilot Roger Mallinson commenced a routine dive in Pisces III. The Canadian commercial submersible – working on a charter for the Post Office – was laying transatlantic telephone cable on the seabed 150 miles south west of Cork.

“It took about 40 minutes to sink down to not far off 1,600ft (500m) and a bit faster to get back up,” says Chapman. “We’d do eight-hour shifts, going along the surface of the seabed at half a mile an hour, setting up pumps and jets which liquefied the mud, laying cable and making sure it was all covered. It was very slow, murky work.”

Mallinson says the poor visibility made the job tiring. “It was like driving down the motorway in thick fog and trying to follow a white line – you had to concentrate beyond belief. One pilot would have the controls for the sub in one hand and the manipulator – a mechanical hand, which would lift, twist, extend and move sideways – in the other, then we’d swap,” he says. “It was also uncomfortable. We had to kneel, with our heads by our knees.”

For Mallinson, the shift followed a 26 hour-stint without sleep. “A previous dive had damaged the manipulator so I worked through the day repairing it. I knew Pisces III inside out as I’d rebuilt it when it came over from Canada as a wreck,” he says.

By a stroke of luck, the engineer also decided to change the oxygen tank. “It was quite ample to run the dive, but for some reason I decided to change it to a full one, which was no mean physical feat as it was very heavy. I could have got into trouble for changing a half used bottle, but as it happens, if I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have lived.”

As well as laying cable, the pilots had to look after life support. Every 40 minutes they turned on a lithium hydroxide fan to soak up the carbon dioxide they breathed out and then fed in a small quantity of oxygen.

They also kept a video commentary during every dive for records.

Pisces III was on the surface being recovered.

“We were waiting for the towline to be attached to lift us and take us back to the mother ship. There was lots of banging of ropes and shackles – as normal during the last phase of the operation – when suddenly we were hurtled backwards and sank rapidly. We were dangling upside down, then heaved up like a big dipper,” says Chapman.

The aft sphere – a smaller watertight sphere where the machinery was – had flooded when the hatch was pulled off. Suddenly the sub was over a tonne heavier. “As we sank my biggest worry was whether we were anywhere near the continental shelf because if we hit it we’d be crushed.”

Mallinson says the sub was jolting, with everything breaking loose, as they went down. “It was very frightening – like a stuka dive bomber with screaming motors and the pressure gauges spinning around.”

The pair shut the electrical systems and switched everything off so it was pitch black, dropping a 400lb (181kg) lead weight to make it lighter as they descended.

“It was about 30 seconds until we hit. We turned the depth gauge off at 500ft (152m) as it could have burst and got cushions and curled ourselves up to try and prevent injuries. We managed to find some white cloth to put in our mouths so we didn’t bite our tongues off too,” says Mallinson.

The sub hit the bottom – 1575ft (480m) – at 09:30.

Mallinson says his first thought was relief they were alive. He later learned it crashed at 40 mph (65 kmh).

“We weren’t injured but there was kit everywhere and we were hanging on to the pipe work. We just sat there with a torch. Unbeknown to us we had hit a gully, so we’d half disappeared below the seabed,” says Chapman.

Pisces III made telephone contact, sending a message that they were both fine, morale was good and they were getting organised.

Early indications suggested oxygen supplies would last until early Saturday morning. The sub carried 72 hours of oxygen in case of an accident, but they’d already used eight hours on the dive. They had 66 hours left.

The pilots spent the first few hours “getting sorted”, according to Chapman. “The submersible was almost upside down, we had to rearrange it, mend the kit and make sure nothing was leaking,” he says.

They decided if the oxygen was going to last, they needed to do very little. “If you switch off, you use one quarter of the oxygen. You don’t talk or move,” he says.

The two men lay as high up in the sub as possible above the foul, heavy air sitting at the bottom, according to Mallinson. The internal diameter of the crew sphere was just 6ft so the men had little space.

“We hardly spoke, just grabbing each other’s hand and giving it a squeeze to show we were alright. It was very cold – we were wet through. I wasn’t in the best condition anyway as I had just suffered three or four days food poisoning from a horrible meat and potato pie. But our job was to stay alive,” he says.

On the surface the rescue effort was under way.

Support ship Vickers Venturer, then in the North Sea, was contacted just after 10:30 and ordered to return its sister submersible Pisces II to the nearest port.

The Royal Navy’s HMS Hecate was sent to the scene with special ropes at 12:09 and RAF Nimrod aircraft flew overhead.

A US Navy submersible, CURV III – designed to pick up bombs from the sea – was sent from California and Canadian Coast Guard ship John Cabot departed from Swansea.

Mother ship Vickers Voyager arrived in Cork at 08:00 to load Pisces II and Pisces V, which had arrived overnight by aircraft. The ship sailed from Cork at 10:30.

Meanwhile, Chapman and Mallinson watched supplies begin to dwindle.

The pair only had one cheese and chutney sandwich and one can of lemonade, but they didn’t want to eat or drink them, according to Chapman.

“We allowed the CO2 to build up a bit to conserve oxygen – we had egg timers to keep track of every 40 minutes, but we’d wait a bit longer. It made us a bit lethargic and drowsy.

“We also started thinking about our families. I’d just got married, so could focus on my wife June. But Roger Mallinson had four young kids and a wife, and he began to get a tiny bit distressed about how they were,” he says.

However Mallinson says one ship left the pilots a message which did “a hell of lot good”.

“We got a message from Queen Elizabeth, who sent her best wishes for our quick recovery – which was a real warmer. It’s amazing how bitterly cold you can feel, and then something happens that gets the adrenalin going, the heart rate up.

“It turned out it was the Queen Elizabeth II, which had altered its course from America to stand station with us in response to the mayday. But because it was so formal, we’d assumed it was the Queen. Then the message came ‘sorry boys, wrong lady’.”

“Friday was a disaster from a surface point of view,” says Chapman.

First Pisces II was launched – with a special polypropylene rope attached to a “toggle” or collapsible snap hook – at 02:00, but the lifting rope tore from the manipulator because of its buoyancy, so it had to return to the mother ship for repairs.

Then Pisces V – launched again with a polypropylene line attached to a toggle – managed to make it to the seabed but couldn’t find the stricken Pisces III before it ran out of power. It returned to the surface and later tried again.

“It was nearly 1pm before Pisces V found us. It was amazingly encouraging to know someone knew where we were. But when Pisces V tried to attach a snap hook the attempt failed because of the buoyancy of the rope,” says Chapman.

Pisces V was ordered to stay with Pisces III, despite the fact it couldn’t lift it. Pisces II descended again, but had to resurface after it got water in its own sphere.

Then CURV III – which had arrived with the John Cabot at about 17:30 – had an electrical fault so was unable to launch.

“By midnight on Friday we only had Pisces V out of almost everything, and two broken submersibles,” says Chapman.

“Then Pisces V was ordered to the surface just after midnight, which was a bit of a blow. It was like we were back to square one with no-one around. Our 72 hours of oxygen was up, we were running out of lithium hydroxide to scrub the CO2, it was very manky and cold and we were almost resigned to thinking it wasn’t going to happen.”

Mallinson agrees that hope was fading.

He says one thing that helped him was the presence of dolphins. “We’d seen them on the 28th, and even though we couldn’t see them, I could hear them on the underwater telephone for the entire three days. That gave me a lot of pleasure,” he says.

Pisces II was launched again with a specially designed toggle and another polypropylene line.

“Just after 5am it had a line on us, on the aft sphere – they knew we were still alive,” says Chapman.

“Then at 0940 CURV III came down and fixed another line, with the toggle inserted in the aft sphere opening. We were wondering what was going on, why we weren’t being lifted.”

Chapman says it was at this point – when the pilots knew the line was attached – that they had the can of lemonade and sandwich.

But Mallinson says he didn’t feel confident the lift would work.

“The aft sphere wasn’t the strong point – we were in the fore sphere, and I was very annoyed we weren’t being lifted by that. I thought it was the wrong decision.

“I think at that point if they’d asked either of us if we wanted to be left or lifted we’d both have said ‘leave us alone’ – the recovery was so terrifying and the chances of getting up next to none,” he says.

Lifting of Pisces III started. “As soon as we got off the sea bed it was very rough, very disorientating,” says Chapman.

The lift was stopped twice during ascent. Once at 350ft, for CURV to be disentangled, and a second time at 100ft, so that divers could attach heavier lift lines.

“We were thrashing and rocking about so they needed to get more ropes, so they could all be heaved together,” says Mallinson.

Pisces III was dragged clear of the water.

“Apparently they thought we’d died when they looked at us, it had been so violent,” says Chapman.

“When they opened the hatch and fresh air and sunlight rushed in it gave us blinding headaches, but we were sorted, we were euphoric. But we were also a bit pathetic. It was quite difficult to climb out of the sub, we’d been so cramped up, we could hardly move.”

In fact Mallinson says it took a good 30 minutes to open the hatch. “It had been jammed shut and wouldn’t open upside down. When it did open, it went off like a gun, we could just smell salty sea air,” he says.

The pilots had been in Pisces III for 84 hours and 30 minutes when they were finally rescued.

“We had 72 hours of life support when we started the dive so we managed to eke out a further 12.5 hours. When we looked in the cylinder, we had 12 minutes of oxygen left,” says Chapman.

The rescue attempt captured the imagination of the media and the public.

Shortly after the rescue, Roger Chapman left Vickers and formed the company Rumic, providing subsea services and operations to the offshore and defence industries.

He has become a leading authority on rescue submersibles, being mobilised to the sinking of the Kursk on behalf of the Royal Navy in 2000, and playing a central role in successfully rescuing the seven-man crew of Russian submarine AS-28 Priz in 2005.

Rumic was acquired by James Fisher and Sons the following year, and is now known as James Fisher Defence.

Meanwhile Mallinson, 75, who lives in the Lake District, carried on working for the same company in submersibles until 1978.

“When USS Indianapolis was hit by Japanese torpedoes in the final weeks of WWII, hundreds of crewmen jumped into the water to escape the burning ship. Surrounded by sharks, they waited for a response to their SOS. But no one had been sent to look for them.”

He’s now heavily involved in restoring steam engines, receiving a Lifetime Achievement award from Prince Michael of Kent for his involvement with The Shamrock Trust, in Windermere, in 2013.

The two men still keep in touch, meeting up every year.

While Chapman’s brush with death has clearly influenced his career, the 68-year-old says it hasn’t had many other repercussions.

“I’m a bit more reluctant to go in a lift – I think it’s the up and down – but that’s the only thing that physically worries me,” he says.

Mallinson says if the submersible went down again, he “wouldn’t do anything differently”.

“Roger Chapman is a great lad. Somebody else might have panicked. If I could have chosen anyone to go down with it would have been him,” he says.

Now their ordeal is set to be made into a film.

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World’s scariest, best water slides

On the big attraction at Ixtapan Parque Acuatico, the drop that follows a fall through a trapdoor propels riders to 60 kilometers an hour — fast enough to make it around an almost-vertical loop.

(CNN) — Verrückt will become the world’s tallest water slide — it’s taller than both the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls — when it opens in May in Kansas.

Until then, here are some of the world’s best water slides and features that make each one unique.

Verruckt, Schlitterbahn Waterpark (Kansas)

Although the team behind Verrückt refuse to confirm its exact measurements, they’ve promised that it’ll be the world’s tallest when it opens later this month.

The ride will feature a steep downhill section followed by an uphill section.

Riders will sit in four-person rafts.

“Verruckt is the brainchild of Jeff Henry, the water park innovator who invented uphill water coasters and inland surfing,” says Winter Prosapio of Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

“What sets Verruckt apart is not just the height, but the technology needed to make it work.

“The uphill portion required a new nozzle-based technology that can sense the weight of each raft and adjusts the water blast to send riders over the hill.”

That means overdoing it on the hot dogs and cotton candy won’t be a problem for the ride.

For your stomach, it might be a different story.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas; +1 913 312 3110

MORE: 12 of the world’s best water parks

Mammoth, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (Indiana)

Mammoth is both the world’s longest water coaster and the world’s first six-person water coaster.

It covers over three acres of the Splashin’ Safari park and has a length of just less than a third of a mile.

“It’s powered with LIMs (linear induction motors), which is the same technology used for roller coasters and light rail transportation,” explains Ruth McMahon, director at ProSlide Technology Inc.

“These specially adapted LIMs are responsible for the Mammoth’s incredibly fast and steep uphill and downhill sections.”

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, 452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, Indiana; +1 812 937 4401

Aqualoop, Ixtapan Parque Acuatico (Mexico)

The Aqualoop is one of the few water slides to feature an almost-vertical loop-the-loop.

Riders start by standing on a trapdoor.

The drop that follows allows them to gain enough speed — up to 60 kilometers an hour — to make it around the loop.

“With the unique slide path, we had to optimize the shape of the loop to maximize the range of riders that could use it while making sure no one got stuck,” says Bruce Bradley, senior engineering specialist at Whitewater theme park designers.

Considering the transparency of the slide, that could certainly prove to be embarrassing.

The park is located about 90 minutes by highway (106 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City.

Ixtapan Parque Acuatico, Plaza San Gaspar S/N, Barrio San Gaspar, Ixtapan de la Sal, Estado de México, Mexico; +52 55 5540 0500

MORE: World’s largest Legoland Water Park opens

The Abyss, Bali Water Park (China)

Although funnel-type slides are increasingly popular, The Abyss’ 29-meter-high, near-vertical oscillations and final, enormous bowl make it one of the world’s most exciting water park attractions.

“By strategically adding flat panels to three sides of the funnel, the passengers in the rafts rise higher up the side walls — 25% more than they would otherwise — making the Abyss more thrilling than the standard cone-shape slides,” explains Tat Won, senior landscape architect at Whitewater, the company that designed the slide.

The park is located in Fushun in Liaoning Province, about 665 kilometers northeast of Beijing.

Bali Water Park, Re-gao Amusement Park, Fushun, Liaoning Province, China

Aquaconda, Aquaventure Waterpark (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

The Aquaconda is the world’s first slide-within-a-slide, comprising an enclosed tube slide that weaves in and out of the framework of a flume-style ride.

It’s made from translucent plastic, so passengers on one section can watch those whizzing down the other.

“Before translucent technology, enclosed water slides were dark, almost industrial looking,” says Geoff Chutter, chief executive of Whitewater.

“Transparent fiberglass lets in more light and creates beautiful prismatic effects, while also putting on a great show for both spectators and people waiting in line.”

Aquaventure Waterpark, Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; +971 4 426 0000

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Behemoth Bowl, Chimelong Water Park (Guangzhou, China)

Speak to a water slide geek and they’ll tell you how the Behemoth Bowl revolutionized water slides with its water injection system, patented corkscrew exit and central drop chute.

Our opinion?

We just love the thrills.

“This is the largest bowl water ride in the world, with a massive 18-meter-diameter,” explains Ruth McMahon at theme park designers ProSlide Technology Inc.

“The size and shape allow passengers to speed around the perimeter and make multiple revolutions with maximum centrifugal force.”

Chimelong Water Park, Panyu Da Dao, Guangzhou, China; +86 20 8479 2222

Dawwama, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Dawwama was the winner of 2013’s Best Water Ride award at the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) awards.

The highlight of the six-person raft ride is an enormous 20-meter-high funnel.

“It’s unique because it combines two iconic water rides,” adds Ruth McMahon at ProSlide Technology Inc. “After the first section — a fast and steep LIM-powered water coaster — passengers get dropped into the world’s first six-person funnel ride.”

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; +971 2 414 2000

MORE: Tokyo’s top 5 water parks

King Cobra, Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa (Belek, Turkey)

Maxx Royal Resort in Turkey is one of the few places you can whiz along the body of a cobra before sliding up the inside of its mouth — at 51 kilometers per hour.

“It’s regarded as a game-changing waterslide,”says Sohret Pakis of Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems.

“It’s a high-capacity ride with two double tubes, and it’s interactive, because the passengers race each other.

“It has a strong visual impact and a unique spectator appeal, with integrated special effects, such as hissing sounds.”

Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa, Iskele Mevkii, Belek, Turkey; +90 242 444 62 99

Super S Ride, Vivaldi Park Ocean World (Hong-cheon, South Korea)

Python is one of the world’s scariest water slides, thanks to several banked twists and turns, unbelievably tight corners and a six-meter-wide enclosed section that sends riders flying up the sides.

“We maximized wall height while eliminating turnover risk,” says Bruce Bradley at Whitewater.

“We wanted to design a slide that gives passengers the thrilling feeling that they’re going to flip over when they fly high up on the slide walls, but obviously they don’t!”

Vivaldi Park Ocean World, 1290-14 Palbongri, Seomyeon, Hong-cheon, Gangwon Province, South Korea; +82 43 420 8311

MORE: World’s first Cartoon Network water park to open in Thailand

Obama intervenes in rail strike

(CNN) — President Barack Obama intervened Saturday in Philadelphia’s rail strike, signing an executive order that puts union workers back on the job while they continuing negotiating with a regional transportation authority.

The order calls for the creation of a Presidential Emergency Board to mediate the differences between the workers and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, putting the roughly 450 employees back to work on Sunday morning.

The employees are covered under the Railway Labor Act, which means a federal mediation board may intervene to work with the parties to resolve contract disputes.

Under the order, the board has 30 days to make recommendations to end the dispute. Obama issued the order at the request of Gov. Tom Corbett.

“It is imperative that parties continue to work toward an agreement for the benefit of the tens of thousands of people who use SEPTA rail every day,” Corbett said in a written statement.

The dispute between the engineers and electrician unions and SEPTA revolves around pay raises and pensions.

The strike affected 13 lines that serve the suburbs and the Philadelphia International Airport, officials said.

It includes engineers who drive or operate the commuter rail lines, said Jerri Williams, spokeswoman for the transportation Authority.

The lines affected carry about 60,000 commuters daily, which is 10% of the total ridership in the Philadelphia area, she said.

“As long as these workers show up for their regularly scheduled Sunday shifts, regional rail service will be restored to full Sunday operations in the morning,” Williams said.

French rail workers extend strike

Watch Friday’s show!

(CNN Student News)June 6, 2014

A look back, a look ahead, and a look at stories making headlines today are all part of this June 6 edition of CNN Student News. Subjects covered include D-Day and a General Motors investigation. We’ll also recap some of the biggest news events of the school year.

This is the last edition of CNN Student News for the 2013-2014 school year. We look forward to seeing you in mid-August!

On this page you will find today’s show Transcript, the Daily Curriculum, and a place for you to leave feedback.


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End of Year Newsquiz: The following questions relate to events that were covered this school year on CNN Student News. Write your answers in the space provided.

1. What former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid leader passed away in December?

2. What organization oversees most college sports in the U.S.?

3. In what city and country were the 2014 Winter Olympics held?

4. Janet Yellen was confirmed as the first woman to chair what U.S. government body?

5. What building, at a height of 1,776 feet, is now the tallest in the U.S.?

6. What is the nickname for the Affordable Care Act, an extensively debated U.S. health care law?

7. What country saw clashes between pro-Russian and pro-European groups in its capital, Kiev?

8. What war-torn country’s largest city is Aleppo?

9. With what world leader did President Obama meet in Vatican City?

10. What is the name of the deadly hemorrhagic fever that broke out in the West African nation of Guinea?

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Best U.S. places to escape civilization

Admittedly, there are hikes more secluded than the High Peaks Wilderness section of Adirondack Park in New York. But you can still find seclusion in the largest publicly protected area on the U.S. mainland.

(CNN) — When Americans ponder the world’s most desolate places, they tend to conjure Antarctic outposts, Tibetan mountaintops, central Australian plateaus or Kardashian brain stems.

Fact is, if you’re in the States you don’t have to travel halfway across the globe to separate yourself from civilization.

You don’t even have to leave the continental United States.

Secluded swamps, forsaken tundra, vacuous canyons, yonder mountain ranges, deserted deserts — despite all the development, the United States is still home to plenty of untamed hinterland.

Here’s the ultimate list of those destinations with suggested activities for each.

The criteria are as simple as they are vague: maximum distance from other humans and any signs of their existence, including but not limited to roads, posted signs, smokestacks, government surveillance, electronic dance music, Snapchat and cronuts.

(And, as is so often the case, Alaska and Hawaii not included.*)

MORE: Best places to see wildlife in the United States


Rampart Mountain (Montana)

In 2008, Backpacker magazine identified the most remote coordinates in the lower 48 United States: Yellowstone National Park’s Two Ocean Plateau.

But there’s more to seclusion than geography — chiefly, the absence not only of civilization, but civilians as well, and Yellowstone hosted 3.19 million of them last year.

According to an ecologist couple dedicated to identifying the most remote spot in each U.S. state, that location is smack in the middle of Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

It took the couple five days hiking in, during which they encountered grizzly bears and mountain goats, traversed white limestone and red sandstone streams and crossed the Great Divide en route to maximum peoplelessness.

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, 10 Hungry Horse Drive, Hungry Horse, Montana; +1 406 387 3800

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High Peaks Wilderness (New York)

Admittedly, there are hikes in the United States more secluded than this section of Adirondack Park.

Most of us without 10 days to throw at a nature walk, however, will find plenty of peace in the largest publicly protected area on the U.S. mainland.

The terrain varies from low-lying swamplands to the highest point in New York state, the summit of Mount Marcy (5,344 feet).

With its most isolated spot reaching nearly six miles from the nearest road, the High Peaks Wilderness Area still attract thousands of hikers a year.

But there are plenty of unmarked trails, high-elevation lakes and untrammeled terrain — especially in the Peaks’ western zone — on which to avoid them.

High Peaks Wilderness Area, Eastern Adirondacks/Lake Champlain, New York; +1 518 897 1200

MORE: Best U.S. movie locations to visit


Wildcat Beach (California)

The 5.5-mile hike (or seven-mile bike ride) keeps the average beach-goer from reaching this vehicularly inaccessible notch of the popular Point Reyes National Seashore.

But the lush vegetation, unrivaled Pacific views and downright alien beachside waterfall (aka, Alamere Falls) keep rewarding those who do.

The falls are active year round, but peak in activity following the rainy season, from January to March.

Strong currents make the ocean more of an aesthetic rather than recreational feature of the beach, but once the morning fog of the summer months burns off, Wildcat’s 2.5 miles of expansive sands and encompassing cliff-side ramparts make for a sunny yet secluded beach adventure.

Beaches of Point Reyes, Bear Valley Visitor Center, 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, California; +1 415 464 5100

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Game tracking

Wasatch Mountains (Utah)

Outdoor Life calls it possibly the toughest hunt in North America.

The goat are as abundant in Utah’s high alpine areas as the treacherous peaks and cliff faces, making the Wasatch Mountains a destination of maximum risk and reward offering minimum human competition.

According to Double C Guides & Outfitters, the Box Elder and Provo peaks see the fewest interlopers, owing to the difficulty of the terrain, which is rife with mountain goat.

Other areas of the Wasatch Mountains support healthy deer, elk and moose — but also hiker — populations.

While the altitudes are high and physical demands strenuous, if you’re a hunter, the greatest challenge may be drawing a big game tag in the state’s annual raffle.

Wasatch Mountain State Park, Midway, Utah; +1 435 654 1791


Wilderness Waterway (Florida)

The nation’s most famous paddleways are Minnesota’s Boundary Waters — explaining their absence here.

Less frequented, especially come summer, is the labyrinth of mangrove forests, Gulf beaches and sawgrass marshes comprising Everglades National Park.

Wilderness Waterway is the 99-mile corridor from Everglades City down to Flamingo, flanked by plenty of alternate routes that promise one of the most humanly deserted, biologically diverse wilds in the world; more than 360 species of bird, endangered panthers and the only known coexistence of alligators and crocodiles on earth.

Mainland Florida’s most remote spot can also be found within the ‘Glades, 17 miles from the nearest road — just one mile closer than Montana’s farthest reach.

Everglades National Park, main entrance at 40001 State Road, Homestead, Florida; +1 305 242 7700

MORE: 8 U.S. hotels that take you back in time


Mooney Falls (Supai, Arizona)

Deep within the Grand Canyon’s western edge, this Havasupai tribal village is the most remote community in the continental United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mail here is still delivered via mule and, aside from helicopter, that’s the only transportation in or out.

The 2,000-foot descent down Havasu Canyon Trail into Supai starts at Hualapai Hilltop.

Eight miles later you’ll find a general store, a Mormon church and the Supai Village Cafe, where fried bread is a staple.

From there, Mooney Falls is just downstream.

It’s a nearly 200-feet tumble of incandescent blue-green waters for which the Havasupai are named.

Contact the Havasupai Tribe for information and entry permits.

MORE: Best places to experience Native American culture


Angle Inlet (Minnesota)

The highest point of latitude on the U.S. mainland is so remote the only way to reach it by land is through Canada.

In fact, being the product of a surveying error in the Treaty of Paris, the Northwest Angle should by all rights be Canadian.

Instead, it’s one of few U.S. points of entry to the Lake of the Woods, a 1,700-square-mile freshwater Eden with a world-class walleye population in addition to pike, perch, muskie, bass, trout, sturgeon, crappie and sauger.

Following a secessionist stunt in the late-1990s intended to raise awareness of neighboring Ontario’s restrictive catch limits, visitors to the Angle are now able to keep their often trophy-size catches.

Angle Inlet, Angle Township, Woods County, Minnesota


U.S. Route 50 (Nevada)

What was once a warning to tourists became the slogan for a tourism board.

A 1986 Life magazine article dubbed the Nevada stretch of this coast-to-coast highway “The Loneliest Road in America.”

An accompanying caveat from the American Automobile Association urged drivers to avoid U.S. 50 unless they were “confident of their survival skills.”

The state has since seized on the reputation of its lonesome road, extolling the virtues of its vacuity and points of interest, including bygone mining camps, ghost towns and nuclear test sites.

The highway mimics the old Pony Express route, traversing sand dunes and snowy mountains as well as Great Basin National Park near its eastern terminus.

The Loneliest Road in America, U.S. Route 50, Nevada

MORE: Sights from America’s ‘loneliest road’

Russia Watching

Little Diomede Island (Alaska)

*Despite that disclaimer above excluding the 49th state, we can’t help making one exception to this list because, if we’re being honest, just about the most remote everything in the United States is located in Alaska.

It has the most land and lowest population density of any state, while offering some of the richest natural spoils on earth.

But the tiny island of Little Diomede poses not only one of the most effective escapes from humanity, it also offers the kind of front-row vistas on Russia that once formed the putative centerpiece of Sarah Palin’s foreign policy.

In the middle of the 50-mile expanse separating the United States and its renewed rival is a population of approximately 40 people for whom it’s a hardscrabble life — but the views of Siberia are superb.

For more information on Little Diomede check out the Communities of the Bering Strait website operated by the Kawerak nonprofit corporation.

MORE: These Alaska road signs will make you say “Huh?”