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Statement from Southport Pleasureland after the Rocket Coaster ride stopped mid-ride yesterday

An incident at Southport Pleasureland yesterday, Saturday 27th August, when the rocket coaster broke down half way around whilst people were stuck mid-ride. The emergency services were called including Merseyside Fire Brigade and Ambulance services.

A young girl fainted and was unconscious so the Pleasureland staff wanted to get her off the ride first, they used a cherry picker to get the young girl off the ride safely. It took approximately 90 minutes to get all the other people safely back on the ground.

A short time after the incident, a second ride, the Log Flume, also broke down with people stuck on it. They subsequently had to be escorted off by staff down the safety ramp to the ground.

Statement from Southport Pleasureland re yesterday’s ride stopping involving the park’s Rocket Coaster…

“We are sorry for the distress caused to passengers on one of our coasters yesterday. Our immediate priority was looking after everyone’s safe removal from the ride. Senior management and maintenance team members are today continuing a thorough investigation into carriages stopping on the park’s Rocket Coaster yesterday morning. All routine maintenance checks had been carried out, as they are on all rides each morning, before the ride went into commission. The ride did exactly what its safety settings are programmed to do and stopped on detecting a fault. It was the first run of the day and the ride, which has a 22-person capacity, was loaded with 19 riders.”

“No one was at any risk of falling from the ride, the carriages were secure on the track and the park’s operations director immediately made his way up the gantry to speak to riders and explain that they would be brought off the ride safely, as part of the park’s instant response safety process. At the same time the maintenance crew was further immobilising carriages to ensure passengers’ safe exit from the ride via one of the park’s cherry pickers. An ambulance and the fire brigade were called immediately, both standard emergency-response practice. A young girl who had lost consciousness was the team’s priority, and checked by ambulance paramedics. That first-response healthcare team was available to other passengers. On seeing how the park was handling the situation and safely retrieving passengers, the fire brigade commended the team, took no action and left the scene.”

“As a consequence of calling maintenance staff to attend the coaster, one or two of the other rides were off for a very short while during the day. This is because the systems require reset buttons to be pressed – something that is maintenance’s responsibility. This represented a very short disruption.”

“Our priority is always safety and our team checks and maintains rides, and trains to keep emergency procedures front of mind, should they be needed, so they are delivered fast and effectively. Once again we apologise to our passengers.”

Southport Pleasureland is an amusement park located in Southport, Merseyside, England. The park originally operated from 1913 to 2006 as Pleasureland Theme Park under the ownership of the Blackpool Pleasure Beach company. In 2007, the park re-opened under the ownership of Norman Wallis.

Photos by Michael Bowman

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