'Gust of significant wind' causes SeaWorld ride to stop functioning, trapping 16

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Police say more than a dozen people trapped on a ride at SeaWorld in San Diego have been rescued.

San Diego police tell FOX5 News that around six gondolas stopped functioning Monday night after a big gust of wind tripped a circuit breaker on "Bayside Skyride." Authorities had estimated that between 15 and 30 people were trapped, some of them in gondolas suspended above water. Sixteen were actually rescued.

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SeaWorld orcas
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 02: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium December 4, 2014 in San Diego, California. Kalia, a 10-year-old killer whale, gave birth to the calf at 12:34 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, under the watchful eyes of SeaWorld's zoological team. The calf is estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure 6 to 7 feet. The gender of the calf is not yet known. As with any killer whale birth, the mother and calf are being observed round the clock for the first few weeks. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
Tillikum, a killer whale at SeaWorld amusement park, performs during the show "Believe" in Orlando, September 3, 2009. A killer whale at the SeaWorld amusement park in central Florida killed a trainer on February 24, 2010, police and company executives said. According to the Orlando Sentinel the orca involved in the incident, named Tillikum but popularly known as "Tilly," has a controversial past. Picture taken on September 3, 2009. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS DISASTER IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Young children get a close-up view of an Orca killer whale during a visit to the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014 REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATESANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
An Orca killer whale is seen underwater at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATESANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
Visitors are splashed by Orca killer whales as they attend a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
Visitors are greeted by an Orca killer whale as they attend a show featuring the whales during a visit to the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
THE DANNY THOMAS HOUR -- 'Sea World' Episode 6 -- Pictured: Host Danny Thomas kisses Shamu the Whale at Sea World San Diego -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Park President John Reilly,Left, and Head Killer Whale Trainer Robin Sheets speak at Seaworld in San Diego, CA on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. After last years Blackfish, a widely seen documentary about SeaWorld's whales and the trainers injured or killed by them, a California assembly member proposed a law banning killer whale shows in San Diego. That bill was tabled after outcry from political leaders in San Diego, who view the park as vital to the regional economy. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images)
Friends of SeaWorld, We are extremely saddened to announce the passing of Kyara, our newest killer whale calf. (1/3… https://t.co/GZssBW0myb
SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 14: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium February 14, 2013 in San Diego, California. Kasatka, a killer whale who is approximately 37 years old, gave birth to the calf this morning at 6:33 a.m. under the watchful eyes of SeaWorld's zoological team. The calf is estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure 6 to 7 feet. The gender of the calf is not yet known. As with any killer whale birth, the mother and calf will be observed round the clock for the first few days. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATESANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
Visitors get a close-up view of an Orca killer whale during a visit to the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
A trainer shows the crowd a killer whale during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL)
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The riders were lowered by harnesses and rescued by lifeguard boats. They were then evaluated by medical crews.

SeaWorld said in a statement that it will conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to reopening. They wrote:

"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 apologize for the inconvenience this has caused the guests."

According to SeaWorld’s website, Bayside Skyride is a family-friendly ride takes guests on a leisurely ride above the park and scenic Mission Bay.

The National Weather Service says it was about 49 degrees in San Diego at the time.

SeaWorld said the gondolas had blankets on board.

 

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