Blackpool: Big One rollercoaster stuck amidst strong winds
Thrillseekers on Blackpool’s 214-foot-high Big One rollercoaster had to be rescued from the ride after it was stopped mid-climb due to fears over 75mph wind gusts from Storm Noa. Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s iconic seafront attraction was suspended after high winds battered coastal regions of Britain leaving many without power and travel disruption across the country.
It’s understood the Big One was stopped with passengers just feet from the summit of the first big drop when it was decided conditions were too dangerous.
The Blackpool Gazette reported guests had held onto handrails and overcome any fear of heights to climb down more than 400 emergency steps to safety.
The Big One is famous for its commanding views of Blackpool Tower and the beach and seafront, although in high winds the views might not have been foremost on guests’ minds.
A spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach said: “At 2.50pm on Tuesday, April 11, Blackpool Pleasure Beach stopped the Big One train on the ride’s lift hill due to sudden changes in weather conditions.
“Guests on the ride were reassured and escorted from the ride by Blackpool Pleasure Beach staff.
“Due to high gusts of wind, the Big One roller coaster closed for the remainder of the day.”
Elsewhere in the country, in Brighton, the Coastguard, RNLI and police are carrying out a search and rescue operation for somebody possibly in the water near Palace Pier. The Coastguard helicopter has been seen sweeping the area in the ongoing search.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: “HM Coastguard’s Newhaven, Littlehampton and Shoreham Coastguard Rescue Teams, alongside Shoreham and Newhaven RNLI all-weather lifeboats, Sussex Police and the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-On-Solent are coordinating a search for a possible person in the water at Brighton Palace Pier, following concerns first raised to emergency services shortly before 4pm.”
In Fareham, Hampshire, a woman has been reported to have been seriously injured after scaffolding fell onto a main shopping street. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service assisted the woman following the incident in West Street at about 1.45pm before she was passed into the care of paramedics, according to the BBC.
Coastal areas in the South West were worst hit, with the National Grid reporting in the afternoon that 268 properties in Devon and 43 in Cornwall had been left without power.
A 96mph gust was recorded by the Met Office at The Needles on The Isle of White – the strongest in the UK.
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