Man falls out of pirate ship ride seat at 85ft high

Carer saved man after safety bar came open at UK theme park

Updated: 
Man falls out of pirate ship ride seat at 85ft high

A care worker saved the life of a man by clinging on to his wrists after he fell out of his seat on an 85ft ride.

The man, who is in his 50s and has learning difficulties, was on the Black Pearl pirate boat ride at Lightwater Valley theme park near Riponwhen the incident occurred.

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The ride spins around in a circle and, when it was tipped upside down at the top of its loop at 85ft high, the man's safety bar came open and he fell out.

According to the Northern Echo, the man's care worker, Paul Marshall, 28, managed to grab both his wrists and clung on to him.

The screams of other riders alerted the operator, who brought it to the ground.

Speaking to Richmondshire Today, Paul said: "It was absolutely horrendous – he came completely out of his seat.

"He was hanging there with just me holding him. I don't know long it was but it felt like a lifetime.

"There was a school party on the ride and they were all screaming. He fell onto an 11-year-old girl and she started having an asthma attack.

"Everyone was shouting and the staff stopped the ride. The young lad operating it was shaking when we got off."

A spokesman for Lightwater said: "We can confirm an incident took place on July 14.
"
A full investigation has been carried out and visitors can be assured that their safety is always of paramount importance to us."

On its website, Lightwater Valley says the Black Pearl "forms the centrepiece of our landmark Skeleton Cove pirate-themed area and is unusual amongst modern pirate ships in that it rotates through 360 degrees".

It adds: "The Black Pearl provides awesome views of the park (for those who are brave enough to keep their eyes open) and a very unique ride experience.

"Visible from most areas of the park, this 85-foot attraction is one of only a handful of rides within Lightwater Valley that actually turns you fully upside down.

"Having more than a passing resemblance to a traditional Pirate Ship, this boat shaped ride swings back and forth, not by the traditional way of a set of tyres below the boat, but with a huge, powerful motor at the top of the central arm."

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