A CARE WORKER had to cling on to the wrists of a man for dear life, after he fell out of his seat while upside down on a theme park ride.

The man, who is in his fifties and has learning difficulties, had been at Lightwater Valley near Ripon and was sat the Black Pearl pirate boat ride when the incident happened.

The ride spins in a vertical circle, but when tipped upside down at the top of its loop 85ft in the air, the bar which was holding him in his seat lifted up and he fell out.

His care worker who had been accompanying him, Paul Marshall, 28, grabbed his wrist. As the man hit another seat, he was catapulted towards him and Paul grabbed his other wrist.

Paul then had to cling on to the man, who is in his fifties, as he was left suspended in the air, dangling over a terrified girl in a school party, while the ride swung through another circle.

The screams of the other people on the ride alerted the ride operator, who brought it to the ground.

“The ride goes up 85ft into the air and stops at the top. As it stopped at the top whatever was keeping him in his seat came up and he fell out,” said Paul, who was accompanying a group of people with learning difficulties on a day out at the park.

“At first I thought he was just sliding out of his seat, so I moved to hold him in. I didn’t realise he was completely falling. Luckily I had him by the wrist and as he fell out I was jerked forward but managed to hold on to him.”

The man was left extremely shaken and bruised and Paul suffered a torn shoulder and pulled the muscles down the right hand side of his body.

He said in some ways, they were lucky, as an even more serious disaster was averted.

The ride has a metal cage around it, which would have stopped him hitting the ground, but the fully grown man could have fallen onto children in the ride.

“He was left dangling above a school kid. He could see there was only me holding him up above her head. She was really frightened and had an asthma attack.”

Paul, who is originally from Wheatley Hill and now lives in Gateshead, said he was appalled that the ride operator was then asked to test the ride by getting in himself and stepped into the ride visibly shaking, after having seen the man fall from his seat.

He said he has still received a formal apology from the attraction.

A spokesperson for Lightwater Valley Attractions said: "We can confirm an incident took place on 14th July.

“A full investigation has been carried out and visitors can be assured that their safety is always of paramount importance to us.

“We work to the highest health and safety standards and are committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all our visitors and employees.”