Our ferris wheel ride became a nightmare: Family trapped at top of Southend's Adventure Island ferris wheel

So frightening – Jack, Darren, and Lynzie with, front, Kieran and Lewis were traumatised after being stuck on the ferris wheel

So frightening – Jack, Darren, and Lynzie with, front, Kieran and Lewis were traumatised after being stuck on the ferris wheel

First published in Local News by

A TERRIFIED family were trapped at the top of a ferris wheel in Adventure Island as staff closed up for the night.

Darren Riggs-Long, desperately tried to calm his wife Lynzie, 37, and their three young children as all the lights at the Southend theme park were turned off at closing time and staff prepared to leave.

The couple’s children Kieran, ten, Lewis, six, and three-year-old Jack screamed out as the cage blew about in the breeze and the family feared they might be trapped there for the night.

Mr Riggs-Long, 38, a packer from North London, had brought his family down for a four-day stay at the Camelia Hotel in Southend, but cut his holiday short because his children are so traumatised.

He said: “We couldn’t believe it. We were at the top of the wheel when the lights went out and staff started shutting the lights down on all the rides just before 10pm. It was cold and really dark.

“We were calling out for about 15 minutes before a member of the public spotted us.

“The attendant came back and switched the lights back on and got us down. The children are traumatised. Lewis woke up in the night crying and Kieran woke up shouting “get me down”."

The family were given five free wristbands and meals for another visit to Adventure Island, but Mr Riggs-Long says he will give them away.

He added: “The kids don’t want to go there any more. It is a shame because we had a great day. It was our second day in Southend and we spent all day there from 11.30am.

“We went on the rides and ate there.

“It was our very last ride and this happened. It spoiled the whole thing.

“I just want to get the kids home to some stability so they forget all this.

“They need to look at the procedures they have for shutting down at night”

Mrs Riggs-Long, a former pharmacist and now full-time mum, said: “We were having a lovely time until this happened.

“I have family here and I was looking forward to spending a few more days with them, but Lewis wants to go home. They were extremely apologetic and have said the attendant will be disciplined, but I don’t blame her.

She was just a young girl. I blame Adventure Island and the training they give youngsters.”

Adventure Island declined to comment about the incident on Monday night.

Comments (40)

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2:55pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Eastwoodian says...

I am just curious as to how long this family had been stuck at the top of the ride until the lights started going out ?

This seems like a case for compensation of some sort.

And what is a 3 year old doing out at 10pm ? This is well past the time they should have been in bed !
I am just curious as to how long this family had been stuck at the top of the ride until the lights started going out ? This seems like a case for compensation of some sort. And what is a 3 year old doing out at 10pm ? This is well past the time they should have been in bed ! Eastwoodian
  • Score: 66

2:57pm Wed 6 Aug 14

MilesBond says...

Here comes the claim
Here comes the claim MilesBond
  • Score: 79

3:13pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Bettycraven says...

Sounds fun to me. But to get to the point, how did the ride attendant not notice!
Sounds fun to me. But to get to the point, how did the ride attendant not notice! Bettycraven
  • Score: 46

3:17pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Funniest story in a while, but not good for the park that was in the top 10 attractions, a few things cross my mind i don't imagine the park shuts down in a few minutes ie rides off, lights off , check for stow-a-ways and a lock down, all staff dissappear home, and its not that high that no one would have heard them, not getting the full story here i think.
Funniest story in a while, but not good for the park that was in the top 10 attractions, a few things cross my mind i don't imagine the park shuts down in a few minutes ie rides off, lights off , check for stow-a-ways and a lock down, all staff dissappear home, and its not that high that no one would have heard them, not getting the full story here i think. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 85

3:20pm Wed 6 Aug 14

bigcookio says...

So the husband had to calm his wife and kids down? As a parent shouldn't you stay calm yourself and set an example? Yes they started switching lights off and close up but a member of the public saw them, meaning the park was still technically open. All a bit dramatic in my eyes
So the husband had to calm his wife and kids down? As a parent shouldn't you stay calm yourself and set an example? Yes they started switching lights off and close up but a member of the public saw them, meaning the park was still technically open. All a bit dramatic in my eyes bigcookio
  • Score: 75

3:22pm Wed 6 Aug 14

pembury53 says...

Bettycraven wrote:
Sounds fun to me. But to get to the point, how did the ride attendant not notice!
or did they not notice ? could have just been having a laugh, "give it 15 minutes and we better let them off"....... you can't deny it wouldn't be hilarious, but that poor girl will probably get sacked now...
[quote][p][bold]Bettycraven[/bold] wrote: Sounds fun to me. But to get to the point, how did the ride attendant not notice![/p][/quote]or did they not notice ? could have just been having a laugh, "give it 15 minutes and we better let them off"....... you can't deny it wouldn't be hilarious, but that poor girl will probably get sacked now... pembury53
  • Score: -12

3:22pm Wed 6 Aug 14

jack0305 says...

When I worked there I used to give the wheel a full spin at the end of the night just to make sure I hadn't forgotten anyone.

Plus in the article on this in the Mirror, the park says CCTV shows they were on the wheel for 3 mins. It is virtually impossible not to notice/hear anyone shouting from the wheel when it is closed. It's more likely that halfway through unloading the other rides were closing down and these guys thought they had been forgotten about.
When I worked there I used to give the wheel a full spin at the end of the night just to make sure I hadn't forgotten anyone. Plus in the article on this in the Mirror, the park says CCTV shows they were on the wheel for 3 mins. It is virtually impossible not to notice/hear anyone shouting from the wheel when it is closed. It's more likely that halfway through unloading the other rides were closing down and these guys thought they had been forgotten about. jack0305
  • Score: 66

3:23pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

and one more thing, i would say they had 2 mobile phones with them (1 each), so there was NEVER a chance of being stuck there all night, mountains molehills spring to mind, and also agree its a bit late for a 3 year old thats been up all day and in there since 11.30am, thats not normal or right.
and one more thing, i would say they had 2 mobile phones with them (1 each), so there was NEVER a chance of being stuck there all night, mountains molehills spring to mind, and also agree its a bit late for a 3 year old thats been up all day and in there since 11.30am, thats not normal or right. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 39

3:28pm Wed 6 Aug 14

GullyB says...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA GullyB
  • Score: 22

3:35pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Russ13 says...

Agree with all the comments above about phones, CCTV, compo claim etc.

I mean, they were all soooooo traumatised by the event how on earth did they manage to travel back down to Southend to have their photo taken in front of the place that caused them so much stress and anxiety?

Adventure Island, if you're reading this...... tell your staff to check for people on the big wheel before shutting it down and give the Riggs-Long family some annual passes..... job done!
Agree with all the comments above about phones, CCTV, compo claim etc. I mean, they were all soooooo traumatised by the event how on earth did they manage to travel back down to Southend to have their photo taken in front of the place that caused them so much stress and anxiety? Adventure Island, if you're reading this...... tell your staff to check for people on the big wheel before shutting it down and give the Riggs-Long family some annual passes..... job done! Russ13
  • Score: 61

3:37pm Wed 6 Aug 14

SLord90 says...

Anything for a bit of money!
Anything for a bit of money! SLord90
  • Score: 19

3:43pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

"The family were given five free wristbands and meals for another visit to Adventure Island, but Mr Riggs-Long says he will give them away".


yeah right.
"The family were given five free wristbands and meals for another visit to Adventure Island, but Mr Riggs-Long says he will give them away". yeah right. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 45

3:44pm Wed 6 Aug 14

clare999 says...

Can I have the free tickets please?! Sorry but if this was me I would have found it funny and encouraged my 3 year old to have a good laugh too. I'm sure they had mobile phones handy in worst case scenario could have called 999. Lighten up guys - a young boy was killed after being thrown from a ride in Spain, now that's something worth getting upset about.
Can I have the free tickets please?! Sorry but if this was me I would have found it funny and encouraged my 3 year old to have a good laugh too. I'm sure they had mobile phones handy in worst case scenario could have called 999. Lighten up guys - a young boy was killed after being thrown from a ride in Spain, now that's something worth getting upset about. clare999
  • Score: 79

3:50pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Sensible Man says...

What a load of tosh. If they were that desperate surely they could have dialled 999?? Or maybe just shouted loudly??
What a load of tosh. If they were that desperate surely they could have dialled 999?? Or maybe just shouted loudly?? Sensible Man
  • Score: 47

4:19pm Wed 6 Aug 14

ddf35 says...

Sorry, total over reaction - and i think a decent offer from Adventure Island. it's not like a child lost a leg and they just offered you free tickets.

not stuck there all night and no one was hurt.

these photos are so staged "c'mon folks, lets have a frown' - it all seems so old fashioned newspaper photog, i cant take them seriously.

yeah it was a bit of a crap situation but it was only 15 mins and you can come again and enjoy the whole day. Focus on the future. The place has been voted one of the best days out in the country and altho its not some where i go, i see plenty of kids having fun.
Sorry, total over reaction - and i think a decent offer from Adventure Island. it's not like a child lost a leg and they just offered you free tickets. not stuck there all night and no one was hurt. these photos are so staged "c'mon folks, lets have a frown' - it all seems so old fashioned newspaper photog, i cant take them seriously. yeah it was a bit of a crap situation but it was only 15 mins and you can come again and enjoy the whole day. Focus on the future. The place has been voted one of the best days out in the country and altho its not some where i go, i see plenty of kids having fun. ddf35
  • Score: 43

4:19pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Other online storys have the park quoted as saying it was just over 3 minutes (on CCTV) and not 15 minutes, why the Echo have omitted this info i don't know, and why The park talked to the Mirror/mail online and gave this info and didn't give it to the Echo is also a mystery.
There was also a Bottom Episode when Eddie and Richie got stuck on one.
Other online storys have the park quoted as saying it was just over 3 minutes (on CCTV) and not 15 minutes, why the Echo have omitted this info i don't know, and why The park talked to the Mirror/mail online and gave this info and didn't give it to the Echo is also a mystery. There was also a Bottom Episode when Eddie and Richie got stuck on one. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 33

4:24pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

"and three-year-old Jack screamed out as the cage blew about in the breeze"

Blowing it gale it were i'll tell ye, and tell me how a 3 year old knew he was 'trapped' ?
"and three-year-old Jack screamed out as the cage blew about in the breeze" Blowing it gale it were i'll tell ye, and tell me how a 3 year old knew he was 'trapped' ? Robin Reliant
  • Score: 34

5:13pm Wed 6 Aug 14

John Bull 40 says...

"It was cold" when was this last February?
"It was cold" when was this last February? John Bull 40
  • Score: 33

5:30pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Walt Jabsco says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
Other online storys have the park quoted as saying it was just over 3 minutes (on CCTV) and not 15 minutes, why the Echo have omitted this info i don't know, and why The park talked to the Mirror/mail online and gave this info and didn't give it to the Echo is also a mystery.
There was also a Bottom Episode when Eddie and Richie got stuck on one.
Yeah I remember that episode, much more funny than a family after compo, hilarious - good old Rik Mayall!
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: Other online storys have the park quoted as saying it was just over 3 minutes (on CCTV) and not 15 minutes, why the Echo have omitted this info i don't know, and why The park talked to the Mirror/mail online and gave this info and didn't give it to the Echo is also a mystery. There was also a Bottom Episode when Eddie and Richie got stuck on one.[/p][/quote]Yeah I remember that episode, much more funny than a family after compo, hilarious - good old Rik Mayall! Walt Jabsco
  • Score: 24

5:32pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Controversial1 says...

Kieran woke up shouting “get me down”." ..... He was on the top bunk you fool!
Kieran woke up shouting “get me down”." ..... He was on the top bunk you fool! Controversial1
  • Score: 28

5:36pm Wed 6 Aug 14

lcsm85 says...

wow....what a crock of s@!t

firstly, they were so traumatised that they had to go home immediately, but managed to stay long enough the next day to contact the echo and have their picture taken for the paper in broad daylight.

secondly, CCTV shows it was 2.58 seconds, they still clearly had time to make a complaint at customer services before they closed, which again shows Adventure Island hadn't closed.

definately after their 15 minutes of fame, or more like 2 minutes 58 seconds of fame.
wow....what a crock of s@!t firstly, they were so traumatised that they had to go home immediately, but managed to stay long enough the next day to contact the echo and have their picture taken for the paper in broad daylight. secondly, CCTV shows it was 2.58 seconds, they still clearly had time to make a complaint at customer services before they closed, which again shows Adventure Island hadn't closed. definately after their 15 minutes of fame, or more like 2 minutes 58 seconds of fame. lcsm85
  • Score: 43

6:10pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Steve H says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
"and three-year-old Jack screamed out as the cage blew about in the breeze"

Blowing it gale it were i'll tell ye, and tell me how a 3 year old knew he was 'trapped' ?
Because his hysterical mother was screaming and needed to be calmed by her other half, rather than reassuring her children it was OK.

This is a ridiculous story and stinks of compensation. The fact the Dad has said he is going to 'give away' (read check Ebay) his wristbands proves he is after more.

These days, a quick mobile phone call would have you down in minutes.

Stupid family.
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: "and three-year-old Jack screamed out as the cage blew about in the breeze" Blowing it gale it were i'll tell ye, and tell me how a 3 year old knew he was 'trapped' ?[/p][/quote]Because his hysterical mother was screaming and needed to be calmed by her other half, rather than reassuring her children it was OK. This is a ridiculous story and stinks of compensation. The fact the Dad has said he is going to 'give away' (read check Ebay) his wristbands proves he is after more. These days, a quick mobile phone call would have you down in minutes. Stupid family. Steve H
  • Score: 31

6:19pm Wed 6 Aug 14

benfleet101 says...

Eastwoodian wrote:
I am just curious as to how long this family had been stuck at the top of the ride until the lights started going out ?

This seems like a case for compensation of some sort.

And what is a 3 year old doing out at 10pm ? This is well past the time they should have been in bed !
They were stuck for 2 minutes and 58 seconds according to the CCTV. As for Adventure Island refusing to comment, they had no problem commenting in today's Daily Mirror, which if the Echo reported had read, they might had a bit more to report on. The Mirror quotes "Theme park bosses have apologised to the family, but in a statement this afternoon Adventure Island denied the family were stuck for any longer than three minutes and said a member of staff was with them at all times.

They said: “The health and safety of our customers is of paramount concern to Adventure Island. We are sorry that Riggs-Long family were unfortunately left for a very short amount of time (2mins and 58 seconds according to CCTV) at the top of the Ferris Wheel and have offered them wristbands and meals to make up for this.

"A member of staff was at the ride the entire time this was taking place to reassure them we were going to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible, which we did."





http://www.mirror.co
.uk/news/uk-news/fam
ily-left-stranded-to
p-ferris-3997887#ixz
z39dCbNb5m
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook
[quote][p][bold]Eastwoodian[/bold] wrote: I am just curious as to how long this family had been stuck at the top of the ride until the lights started going out ? This seems like a case for compensation of some sort. And what is a 3 year old doing out at 10pm ? This is well past the time they should have been in bed ![/p][/quote]They were stuck for 2 minutes and 58 seconds according to the CCTV. As for Adventure Island refusing to comment, they had no problem commenting in today's Daily Mirror, which if the Echo reported had read, they might had a bit more to report on. The Mirror quotes "Theme park bosses have apologised to the family, but in a statement this afternoon Adventure Island denied the family were stuck for any longer than three minutes and said a member of staff was with them at all times. They said: “The health and safety of our customers is of paramount concern to Adventure Island. We are sorry that Riggs-Long family were unfortunately left for a very short amount of time (2mins and 58 seconds according to CCTV) at the top of the Ferris Wheel and have offered them wristbands and meals to make up for this. "A member of staff was at the ride the entire time this was taking place to reassure them we were going to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible, which we did." http://www.mirror.co .uk/news/uk-news/fam ily-left-stranded-to p-ferris-3997887#ixz z39dCbNb5m Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook benfleet101
  • Score: 21

7:06pm Wed 6 Aug 14

TheaWells says...

What a load of boll0x!!

It's an outright lie from the family and they know it.
What a load of boll0x!! It's an outright lie from the family and they know it. TheaWells
  • Score: 24

7:29pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Sensible Man says...

Well- perhaps the adults from this family could come on and explain.

We are waiting.

Thank you.
Well- perhaps the adults from this family could come on and explain. We are waiting. Thank you. Sensible Man
  • Score: 12

8:40pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Alaninessex says...

lcsm85 wrote:
wow....what a crock of s@!t

firstly, they were so traumatised that they had to go home immediately, but managed to stay long enough the next day to contact the echo and have their picture taken for the paper in broad daylight.

secondly, CCTV shows it was 2.58 seconds, they still clearly had time to make a complaint at customer services before they closed, which again shows Adventure Island hadn't closed.

definately after their 15 minutes of fame, or more like 2 minutes 58 seconds of fame.
Completely agree Lcsm85, sounds a bit fishy to me. Bet the family were loving the attention from the Press but bet they are now regretting coming up with this **** and bull story with the amount of negative responses from people above.

Shame on you Echo-News for not consulting Adventure Island prior to running the story and asking to see the CCTV footage before printing such garbage. Maybe you are the Daily star should join forces, they too are a comic for the uneducated/inbred dumb ****'s of this country!
[quote][p][bold]lcsm85[/bold] wrote: wow....what a crock of s@!t firstly, they were so traumatised that they had to go home immediately, but managed to stay long enough the next day to contact the echo and have their picture taken for the paper in broad daylight. secondly, CCTV shows it was 2.58 seconds, they still clearly had time to make a complaint at customer services before they closed, which again shows Adventure Island hadn't closed. definately after their 15 minutes of fame, or more like 2 minutes 58 seconds of fame.[/p][/quote]Completely agree Lcsm85, sounds a bit fishy to me. Bet the family were loving the attention from the Press but bet they are now regretting coming up with this **** and bull story with the amount of negative responses from people above. Shame on you Echo-News for not consulting Adventure Island prior to running the story and asking to see the CCTV footage before printing such garbage. Maybe you are the Daily star should join forces, they too are a comic for the uneducated/inbred dumb ****'s of this country! Alaninessex
  • Score: 19

8:49pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Southend Andy says...

Their was a time I was stuck, couldn't get out, I started to panic, Then I was born. Think if I tell the echo they will want my story?
Their was a time I was stuck, couldn't get out, I started to panic, Then I was born. Think if I tell the echo they will want my story? Southend Andy
  • Score: 20

9:46pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Nebs says...

Southend Andy wrote:
Their was a time I was stuck, couldn't get out, I started to panic, Then I was born. Think if I tell the echo they will want my story?
Have you claimed compensation from your mum?
[quote][p][bold]Southend Andy[/bold] wrote: Their was a time I was stuck, couldn't get out, I started to panic, Then I was born. Think if I tell the echo they will want my story?[/p][/quote]Have you claimed compensation from your mum? Nebs
  • Score: 18

10:41pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

They all need counselling something like this can scar you for life, a work colleague got stuck in a lift 6 years ago for over 2 hours air was tight it was very warm and panic set in after 45 minutes it never leaves you he told me, some days he is down and some he is up.
They all need counselling something like this can scar you for life, a work colleague got stuck in a lift 6 years ago for over 2 hours air was tight it was very warm and panic set in after 45 minutes it never leaves you he told me, some days he is down and some he is up. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 17

7:37am Thu 7 Aug 14

Jackanbeanstalk says...

counselling ? get real they was up there 2mins and 58 seconds they was not shouting for 15 mins the attendant was at the ride the whole time , clearly just wanted some free stuff and most likely to ashamed to use their free tickets because of the lies they made !
counselling ? get real they was up there 2mins and 58 seconds they was not shouting for 15 mins the attendant was at the ride the whole time , clearly just wanted some free stuff and most likely to ashamed to use their free tickets because of the lies they made ! Jackanbeanstalk
  • Score: 14

8:16am Thu 7 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

If they had been there since 11.30 am then why were they on the ride in the dark and quite windy with 3 children., youngest 3. Been to lots of adventure parks all over the world , never stayed with children so young until throwing out time , especially as they were in Southend for 3 days. However it was the adults that panicked the children , they should have dialled 999. Adventure Island employ children themselves, long hours and s--t wages, exploiting youngsters who want a bit of pocket money. Adventure Island commented in Daily Mirror, obviously told to shut up because of litigation. Watch this space
If they had been there since 11.30 am then why were they on the ride in the dark and quite windy with 3 children., youngest 3. Been to lots of adventure parks all over the world , never stayed with children so young until throwing out time , especially as they were in Southend for 3 days. However it was the adults that panicked the children , they should have dialled 999. Adventure Island employ children themselves, long hours and s--t wages, exploiting youngsters who want a bit of pocket money. Adventure Island commented in Daily Mirror, obviously told to shut up because of litigation. Watch this space CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: -3

8:57am Thu 7 Aug 14

lcsm85 says...

just goes to show, you can't believe everything you read in the papers.
just goes to show, you can't believe everything you read in the papers. lcsm85
  • Score: 6

10:51am Thu 7 Aug 14

annonnamus says...

Don't you just love these rumours, gossip and theories created by all these replies?
Such shallow minded nonsense.

Has Adventure Island declined to comment about the incident permanently or just when this article went online? That is not clear, so please update.
Don't you just love these rumours, gossip and theories created by all these replies? Such shallow minded nonsense. Has Adventure Island declined to comment about the incident permanently or just when this article went online? That is not clear, so please update. annonnamus
  • Score: -5

12:36pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Feminism is Dead says...

LOL at the picture...."one, two, three...GRIMACE!"
LOL at the picture...."one, two, three...GRIMACE!" Feminism is Dead
  • Score: 15

4:24pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Fab man says...

Having read this story & I have just developed Ferriophobia. Can I have some compensation?
Having read this story & I have just developed Ferriophobia. Can I have some compensation? Fab man
  • Score: 11

10:51pm Thu 7 Aug 14

floorplan says...

Hahahahahahahaha. Atleast they had a nice view.
Hahahahahahahaha. Atleast they had a nice view. floorplan
  • Score: 10

12:09am Fri 8 Aug 14

runwellian says...

They had a longer ride than everyone else, what are these idiots complaining about.

Why was a three year old out at that time of night?

'Attention seeking' can become a serious mental illness!
They had a longer ride than everyone else, what are these idiots complaining about. Why was a three year old out at that time of night? 'Attention seeking' can become a serious mental illness! runwellian
  • Score: 8

12:39am Fri 8 Aug 14

echoforum says...

trauma is having your love ones lying in a field in Ukraine.
This is something that prior to victim syndrome would have been laughed off.
trauma is having your love ones lying in a field in Ukraine. This is something that prior to victim syndrome would have been laughed off. echoforum
  • Score: 14

5:17am Fri 8 Aug 14

grant79 says...

Send them a message on facebook, They are both on there
Send them a message on facebook, They are both on there grant79
  • Score: 5

6:55pm Fri 8 Aug 14

runwellian says...

a 3 year old out at 10 p.m., they are as responsible as the playground operators.
a 3 year old out at 10 p.m., they are as responsible as the playground operators. runwellian
  • Score: 8

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