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UPDATE: Jurassic Skyline have tweeted: ‘All passengers have been safely returned to ground. Our enormous thanks to @DWFireRescue and Coastguard teams for their assistance.’

Thirteen people trapped in the gondola of the Jurassic Skyline tower on Festival Pier, Weymouth are being winched to safety by a Coastguard helicopter.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the scene at 4.12pm this afternoon (5 September) after efforts by engineers to free the stuck gondola had failed.

Technical rescue crews from Weymouth and Poole, plus the aerial ladder platform from Westbourne and a supporting crew from Dorchester, attended the scene and firefighters ascended the tower to provide support and reassurance to the 11 members of the public and two staff within the gondola.

Working with colleagues from Dorset Police, the local authority, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the attraction’s operators, the Service explored a number of rescue options, but most were discounted on the grounds of safety due to the inclement weather.

At approximately 7.30pm, the Coastguard helicopter started to winch those trapped to safety. Arrangements have been made to provide them with a safe place to rest and recover once returned to the ground.

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