Knott's Berry Farm's newest thrill ride, WindSeeker, gave riders a bit more than the 3 minute ride they were expecting when it got stuck and trapped 20 riders more then 300 feet in the air for over 3 hours.
The WindSeeker thrill ride features 32 two-person gondolas that ascends up a tower to a height of 301 feet. Once riders reach the top, WindSeeker extends outward and swings at a 45 degree angle at a speed of 8 rotations per minute. The entire ride is said to last 3 minutes.
At around 4 P.M. on Wednesday however, the 20 riders aboard WindSeeker were trapped at the top for three and a half hours when the ride came to a stop after its security system activated. The ride halted midway through the cycle according to Jennifer Blazey, senior publicist for Knott's.
TV cameras showed many of the riders sitting calmly as they dangled , enjoying the sun set and some casually swinging their legs.
Riders stranded on WindSeeker ride at Knott's Berry Farm
Time reports the riders were finally being lowered by maintenance crews around 7:50 p.m. local time and that all riders made it off the ride safely.
Jimmy Garrison, a tourist from Baltimore who was stuck on the ride said"They were on the PA system and they were telling us 'be patient with us,' and that sort of thing. I was looking over at the steel cables, there's a whole bunch of them so I know you can't fall."
He later said: "They didn't tell me that in the brochure." After finally getting off the ride he was seen leaving the park with a 'I Survived Windseeker'.
Garrison's wife, Donna, told KABC News: “I have a fear of heights. I was on it because my husband wanted to train me to get over my fear of heights. By the end, I was.”
The WindSeeker also also left riders hanging on Sept. 7th. Knott's Berry Farm says the ride will remain closed while they investigate what caused the security system to activate.