On Monday night 16 people, at least seven of whom were kids, had to be rescued after a ride at SeaWorld San Diego went haywire due to "an unusual gust of significant wind."
At 7:20 p.m. local time, the fire department had to be called to free the Bayside Skyride's unfortunate riders after five of the ride's cars came to a sudden halt, and the park's engineers couldn't get it going again.
"We were clutching for our lives and didn't know if we were about to drop or what was going on," said Jonathan Sherr, who had regrettably hopped on the ride with his son. "We were honestly just prepared for the worst. Ever seen the Final Destination series? That's what was going through our minds." He added that the wind, which brought about the problem, also caused the cars/cables holding everything together to violently shake.
Sherr went on to say that communication with park staff was lousy as the riders sat and waited. "We got very vague answers from ride operators, who refused to get us in touch with the supervisor and say that there's no supervisor on staff," he said, adding that he and his son were "freezing" as they sat and waited. SeaWorld countered that by saying each car had a blanket and that they were communicating with the riders via an intercom.
As for how the SDFD saved the stranded patrons, they utilized boats, which they lowered passengers onto roughly two hours into the rescue. Spokesman José Ysea says they were "basically repelling across the wires" to get to the actual ride, and that no one was hurt in the process. The last two people rescued were finally freed after about four hours.
SeaWorld said that the ride wouldn't re-open until it has been inspected, but if Blackfish didn't get future visitors to stop going, then this probably won't make too much of a dent.