Fine for pleasure beach ride collapse is 'peanuts'
THE great-uncle of one of the child passengers who was on the Surf Rider when it collapsed has described the court fine as 'peanuts.'
Peter Wilson travelled from Nottingham to be present in court to hear the result of the Pleasure Beach Amusements Skeg Ltd prosecution.
His great-niece Sapphire Wilson, who was 10 at the time, had to be treated in hospital overnight after she was left with severe bruising.
He said: "I had to be here - I would have walked here if I had to. I think the company should have to pay more than what has been ordered. The fine is peanuts.
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"I know my sister won't be very happy and neither will Sapphire."
He said he did not know Sapphire was on the ride until a woman carried her over to him and his family who were sitting nearby.
He said: "Sapphire is now quite nervous about going on rides, even at the Goose Fair in Nottingham. She was the second one down on the carriage. She was kept in overnight because of the bruising from the safety bar.
"She had to have a scan at the hospital. Luckily she was fine."
Student Alice Thorne, 16, of Hinckley, Leicestershire, was also trapped on the Surf Rider for more than an hour when it collapsed.
She suffered neck, chest and leg injuries and has been affected psychologically by the incident, which has left her with a fear of heights and fairground rides.
She said: "When we got on the ride it was going around normally, and then it jolted down. I said: 'Is it going to snap?' It then started to tip and fell to the ground.
"People came rushing over. I was at the top of the ride so I had to wait for about an hour for the fire officer to release me.
"I was really shook up and was put in the ambulance and had an ECG, but we decided I didn't need to go to hospital.
"The next day I woke up in agony and could not move my shoulder and neck.
"My neck pain lasted a couple of months, and affected my dancing. I've also been having nightmares about the incident."
A statement from the family-run Skegness business which has been in operation since 1966 said they deeply regret the incident.
"This was the first incident we have had in over 45 years in operation and since the incident, steps have been taken to further refine the servicing and maintenance regime which was already in place for our rides, to reduce the risk of such an incident happening again.
"We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to those customers who were on the ride and their families for what must have been a very frightening incident.
"We hope that they can now put the incident behind them and continue to enjoy all of our facilities which our fairground has to offer."