SeaWorld ‘Skyride' Reopens Following Safety Inspections

SeaWorld's gondola lift ride reopened for the first time Wednesday since an incident last February left more than a dozen guests stranded in gondolas above San Diego Bay for hours. 

The theme park said the Bayside Skyride was reopened to the public after months of "very methodical insections" by both the manufacturer and Cal-OSHA.

Inspectors determined a communication cable was damaged by the wind. 

"We’re very excited to reopen the Skyride, but before doing so, we were going to ensure it was back to working perfectly,” said Marilyn Hannes, SeaWorld San Diego park president.

On Feb. 18, 2019, sixteen people were stranded in five gondolas on the aerial tram-style ride when a big gust of wind tripped a circuit breaker that stunted the ride. 

Crews rescued 16 passengers from the gondola ride but the guests were stuck for hours first. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala has more.

It took five hours for firefighters to use a rope system to lower guests, including an infant and a person described as partially paralyzed, one-by-one into boats on the bay.

Skyride soars high above Mission Bay with gondolas moving back and forth between towers on long cables.

Jonathan Sherr, who was trapped in one gondola with his 15-year-old son, described the incident to NBC 7 in February. He said the cable shook violently before the ride stopped. 

The iconic ride was built in 1967 by the Von Roll company and has provided more than 20 million park guests a scenic ride across nearly 3,000 feet of cable above Mission Bay.

One of the families trapped on a gondola ride at SeaWorld San Diego recalled the experience trapped above Mission Bay. NBC 7's Melissa Adan spoke exclusively with the family.
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