San Diego SeaWorld drama as 16 people trapped in gondolas above Mission Bay

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The victims trapped, which included an infant and a partially paralysed person who had just suffered a stroke, were safe following a four-hour rescue operation. The people trapped were able to speak to the staff at SeaWorld via an intercom so they could be kept informed of the evacuation procedures. SeaWorld have blamed the incident on an “unusual gust of significant wind” saying that they would “conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening”.

The people on the ride were lowered by harnesses before they were evaluated by medical crews.

Lifeguards assisted the firefighters below the aerial tram during the rescue efforts and they used two boats.

The rescue operation lasted from 7:15pm until 11:15pm.

In a statement at the time of the rescue, SeaWorld have said: “Guest safety is paramount.

“Due to an unusual gust of significant wind, the operations of the Bayside Skyride stopped.

“A number of guests are currently on the Skyride seated in 5 gondolas.

“We are currently working with San Diego Fire & Rescue and the San Diego Lifeguards to evacuate the guests from the ride.

“We practice emergency evacuation procedures with local first responders annually.

“We are in contact with the guests via intercom, and they have been made aware of the evacuation procedures.

“There are also blankets on board each gondola.

“Evacuations will be conducted in accordance with the highest safety standards.

“All the guests are currently safe while awaiting evacuation.

“Guest safety is our top priority.

“Once our guests are cared for, we will conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused the guests.”

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