Crews rescue 16 people trapped on SeaWorld skyride

SAN DIEGO -- Crews rescued 16 people after a ride at SeaWorld San Diego malfunctioned Monday night.

Bayside Skyride stopped functioning after a big gust of wind tripped a circuit breaker around 7:22 p.m., according to San Diego police. Sixteen riders were stuck in five gondolas, some of which were suspended above Mission Bay. Of the riders, seven were children, including one baby.

Jonathan Sherr, who is partially paralyzed, was on the skyride when the wind gusts caused it to come to a halt.

“We got on the ride and there were some wind gusts. By the time we were in the middle of the ride a wind gust of about 40 miles per hour came up. It was crazy. It started rocking our car,” Sherr said. “I looked up at the cable and we were shaking violently. Then, it just stopped. There’s apparently a sensor that stopped the ride.”

Fire officials said they prepare for this type of rescue with a training drill every year. They knew exactly how to handle the situation.

"Something like this, we want to be slow and methodical," SDFD Battalion Chief Robert Logan said at a news conference. "The room for error is very slim because there is such a high drop and there is water below."

By 11 p.m., all of the trapped riders had been rescued, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. The riders were lowered by harnesses and rescued by lifeguard boats before they were evaluated by medical crews.

It was 49 degrees at the theme park around 9 p.m. The gondolas had blankets on board, according to a statement by SeaWorld.

"Once our guests are cared for, we will conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening," the statement added.

Google Map for coordinates 32.764790 by -117.226608.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.