Riders Stuck for 4 Hours on SeaWorld Skytower

SeaWorld San Diego said it's investigating what caused an iconic ride to lose power Sunday, leaving dozens of riders stranded for hours hundreds of feet off the ground.

The 48 people on the Skytower were lowered to safety just before 7:30 p.m., nearly four hours after the ride became suspended about 220 feet in the air.

One man told NBC 7 that being stuck high in the air with his two young kids and dozens of others was terrifying.

The man asked not to be identified by name. He said the information he received from the park and emergency crews was intermittent at best.

"We didn't know if and when we were getting down or if we should be worried for our safety, given that this thing could or could not snap," he said.

A teenage boy was taken to the hospital for anxiety, according to San Diego Fire Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

SeaWorld technicians ended up fixing the problem, but the fire department was put on stand-by.

Swanson said firefighters train to rescue people from the Skytower at least once a year, but have never had to do it.

SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz released the following statement Sunday night:

SeaWorld's San Diego's Skytower ride experienced a power failure this afternoon. With guest safety as our top priority, park engineers spent four hours trouble-shooting the problem before restoring power to the Skytower and safely returning the 46 guests to the ride loading area. The guests were never in danger and park officials were in constant communication with them while the power failure was being addressed. Two SeaWorld employees were also in the Skytower providing guests with water and snacks. The San Diego Fire Department was on scene, however, there was no requirement for an emergency evacuation. We greatly appreciate the patience of our guests, and they received return admission and other park amenities. The cause of the power failure is under investigation.

Riders received return admission to the park and what was described as other amenities. They were also fed after they were rescued.

The Skytower raises riders hundreds of feet in the air and slowly spins to show panoramic views of San Diego.

Contact Us