(Reuters) - Sixteen people were trapped for about four hours in gondolas hanging over a California bay on a chilly Monday night at SeaWorld San Diego after wind gusts tripped an electric circuit breaker, officials said.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFR) crews lowered the park guests one-at-a-time with ropes and harnesses into boats in Mission Bay and they were assessed by emergency medical workers waiting on the dock, the SDFR said on twitter.
No injuries were reported on the marine park ride, but among those rescued were an infant and a paralysed person, local media, including a local CBS affiliate, reported.
“All 16 persons trapped in the gondolas ride are safe and on the ground,” SDFR posted online late on Monday.
Rescuers were called about 7:30 p.m. local time, with a report of more than a dozen people trapped in five gondolas hanging over Mission Bay at the Southern California park.
The breakdown was “due to an unusual gust of significant wind”, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. spokesman David Koontz said in a statement.
The National Weather Service reported that 20 mph gusts of wind from the north hit the park on Monday evening, with temperatures in the mid-40s Fahrenheit and falling.
Koontz said park officials were in contact with the people on the gondolas through an intercom system during the rescue operation, adding that each gondola was equipped with emergency blankets.
“We’d like to applaud San Diego Fire & Rescue and San Diego Lifeguards for the professionalism during tonight’s evacuation operation,” Koontz said.
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Ed Osmond