16 People Rescued From Malfunctioning Gondola Ride at SeaWorld San Diego
Sixteen people were stranded for several hours on gondolas at SeaWorld in San Diego on Monday night.
Just after 7 p.m., five gondolas on the Bayside Skyride malfunctioned because of strong wind gusts that broke sensors on the ride, Fox5 News reported. The 16 people, including nine adults and seven children, were stuck above Mission Bay for about four hours, according to CBS.
Jonathan Sherr, who is partially paralyzed and had recently suffered a stroke, told Fox5 News that the wind “started rocking our car.”
“I looked up at the cable and we were shaking violently,” he said. “Then, it just stopped.”
The San Diego Fire Department told CBS News that the rescue effort began around 7:15 p.m. and everyone was safe by about 11:15 p.m. Lifeguards assisted the firefighters, who lowered the Skyride passengers from the gondolas to two lifeboats using safety harnesses, according to CBS.
After being lowered to safety, the passengers were taken to the docks where they were examined by medical responders.
CBS reported that the water temperature was between 58 to 59 degrees, while the National Weather Service reported that the air temperature was 46 degrees. SeaWorld told both Fox5 and CBS in a statement that the gondolas had blankets to keep passengers warm.
SeaWorld attributed the incident to an “unusual gust of significant wind,” adding, “We will conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening.”