Winterland terror as dad lifted 25ft in the air with no restraints

A dad claimed his 10-year-old daughter was left "very traumatised" after the restraint on a Winterland funfair ride came loose as he was lifted into the air while desperately trying to stay in his seat.

Chris Miller, 39, visited the Museum Park attraction on Swansea Waterfront at around 11.30am on Saturday (November 26) with his partner Lucie and daughter Summer, WalesOnline reports.

He claimed the Moondancer ride had already been stopped once due to his safety concerns shortly before it restarted and his restraint "came completely off".

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The 39-year-old said he feared for his life as he was allegedly carried to a height of around 25ft before the ride halted, and that Summer was "petrified".

A spokesman for Studt’s Funfairs which operates the ride said the Moondancer, which costs £4 a go, "operated exactly as intended and as any customer would hope for it to do", adding that "the failsafe engaged and the operator was able to check the ride and later fully reinstate it without concern".

The fairground is run by A2H Live and Sayers Events which are both also involved in operating Cardiff's Winter Wonderland where three people were injured on Saturday after coming off a ride in mid-air – an incident being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Chris said: "I had a padded coat on with my wallet and keys in the pockets so when the guy pushed the safety barrier down he only clicked it two places down even though there were about 10 to 20 teeth available."

When he questioned that, Chris said the operator said a minimum of two clicks was alright, adding that he "trusted their judgement", adding: "About 20 seconds in, the bar slipped out to the last click and I panicked. I shouted: 'Stop the ride' and they stopped it.

"The operative put it back down to the second click. I was starting to get quite anxious but again I trusted their judgement."

Chris said that within seconds it "went to one click and then came completely off", adding: "I was trying to get the operative's attention but there was loud music.

"I was flying up and down while my partner was screaming to the operative. After about five to 10 seconds the ride came to a stop."

Chris said the ride was lowered to ground level and the family got off because they felt unsafe, while witnesses who had seen what happened were "instructing their own children to come off the ride immediately".

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He added that he went to the token kiosk afterwards and spoke to the ride owner who said it should automatically stop when a barrier lifted.

He said: "He was very sorry and he gave a refund but I was flabbergasted to see people being allowed straight on after what had happened – they had only stopped people sitting in the seat I was in but the whole thing should have been closed down and checked.

"My daughter was beside herself and petrified bless her heart. She was in tears because she'd thought her daddy was going to die.

"She's very, very traumatised. I think it will affect her ability to enjoy any fairground experience."

A spokesperson for Studt’s Funfairs said it was aware of an "event" in which the failsafe worked "as intended" and added: "The customer was allowed to exit the ride and received a full refund.

"Safety is a priority for Studt's Funfairs and as a precaution we ceased use of that particular seat to perform checks," adding that: "The ride has since been fully checked over and is operating properly."


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