• chesilradio

Helicopter Rescues Passengers As Jurassic Skyline Tower Gets Stuck Again

So it happened again. People found themselves stranded at the top of the Jurassic Skyline in Weymouth.

If you remember only a couple of weeks ago we covered it being stuck for a couple of times but this time far more drama.

The back-up generator didn't work so after 2 hours being stuck the coastguard was called in. Now in previous times this would have been fine as it would only have come from Portland. But a couple of months ago this service was removed and the nearest helicopter is at Lee-On-Solent in Hampshire. Due to the distance it travelled it was unable to complete the rescue with one tank of fuel and had to go off and refuel in Bournemouth after rescuing some of the passengers.

There was about a dozen people on board who were lifted from the viewing tower. The first run left 2 members of the public and 2 staff who were looked after by additional coastguard team who was not seen to be collected from the platform. We are aware that from the previous issues that there are some alternative exits using ladders but with a 7 month old child amongst those stranded from 2.15pm, that not all would be able exit this way. The coastguard was called at 4pm when the back up generator failed to get the platform moving as had done on the previous breakdown.

Nikki Latham, Station Controller was alerted to the drama unfolding about 7pm and really thought it would be all over by the time she got there. But as she approached the seafront clearly blue lights could be seen flashing from across Weymouth Bay. She took the decision to make her way round to the lollipop as she calls it. "From people I was passing it all seemed to be over until I made the effort to go all the way round the bay to be able to see people still in the tower." There was 2 members of the public, 2 staff and some coastguards she went on to learn and within an hour of being there the coastguard helicopter turned up well lit. It went straight into action rescuing two people and landing before going back for the others. She went on to say: "The skill of the pilot was incredible as how close he was to the tower. I left me breathless a few times in the windy conditions."

The people rescued were given an unexpected tour of Weymouth Bay before landing back behind the old ferries terminal in the car park used for getting ready for Weymouth Carnival. People who were stranded there were all taken to the Pavillion to be checked that they were ok after returning to the ground. The drama came to an end at about 10pm as the helicopter flew off into the distance back towards Hampshire.

Many people turned up when the helicopter appeared, but as always our team was there as soon as we were alerted. And you can see the drama unfold on our Facebook page where the Facebook Live videos have been posted.

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