Drama at SeaWorld San Diego: There's a rescue underway of people stranded in gondolas above frigid Mission Bay

/ CBS News

San Diego — Sixteen people seated in five gondolas became trapped on the Bayside Skyride over the frigid waters of Mission Bay at SeaWorld San Diego Monday night, reports the CBS affiliate there, KFMB-TV. The San Diego Fire Department said an infant and a partially paralyzed person who recently suffered a stroke were among those in the gondolas.

Firefighters were being assisted by lifeguards in position in the water below the aerial tram in the rescue efforts. The lifeguards were said to be using at least two boats.

16 passengers were trapped at SeaWorld San Diego on night of February 18, 2019 in Bayside Skyride gondolas above frigid waters of Mission Bay KFMB-TV

The rescue operation began at roughly 7:15 p.m. local time. At about 10:30 p.m., the fire department tweeted an update:

SEAWORLD RESCUE UPDATE: Technical Rescue Team firefighters have rescued 14 of the 16 passengers stuck on a gondola ride. They are being evaluated by medical crews as they are brought to a dock.

— SDFD (@SDFD) February 19, 2019

SeaWorld said each gondola is equipped with blankets and the park has been in contact with passengers via intercom, informing them of evacuation procedures among other things.

stranded-gondolas-seaworld-san-diego-101819.jpg
Two of the Bayside Skyride gondolas stuck over frigid Mission Bay waters at SeaWorld San Dieo on night of February 18, 2019; 16 passengers were stranded in five gondolas, officials said KFMB-TV

The San Diego Fire Department told KFMB high winds appear to have caused the problem with the ride.

SeaWorld pointed directly at the wind, saying in a statement that "an unusual gust of significant wind" was the culprit, adding that, "Once our guests are cared for, we will conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening."

KFMB meteorologist Shawn Styles said the water temperature in Mission Bay was around 58 to 59 degrees. The National Weather Service said the air temperature in San Diego at 10 p.m. was 46 degrees.

First published on February 19, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

seaworld-san-diego-bayside-skyride-gondolas-rescue-021819.jpg stranded-gondolas-seaworld-san-diego-101819.jpg

People stranded in gondolas above frigid bay at SeaWorld San Diego

Rescue efforts were underway; the park blames an "unusual guest of significant wind" for the problem with its Bayside Skyride

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