Jurassic Skyline

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The Jurassic Skyline tower

The Jurassic Skyline tower (known until mid-2015 as the Weymouth Sea Life Tower) is an observation tower on Weymouth Pier in Weymouth, Dorset, England. It is situated next to Weymouth Beach and the Weymouth Pavilion, where it overlooks Weymouth town, the beach, the Pavilion, the Old Harbour, Nothe Gardens, the Nothe Fort, and Portland Harbour. It opened on 22 June 2012.[1]

The tower stands 53 metres (174 feet) high. The clear-fronted passenger gondola is able to turn a full 360 degrees as it rises during operation, and can accommodate 69 passengers at a time.[2] Each tower session lasts approximately 15 minutes. A total of 1,100 tons of concrete was used during building; the tower itself weighs 140 tons.[3] It offers views of the English Channel and the surrounding countryside; on a clear day, views at the highest point are said to extend down the Dorset coast to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.[4]

The tower received national attention in September 2017 after the gondola became stuck and could not descend; 13 people were winched off by helicopter as the weather prevented other modes of safe rescue.[5]

History[edit]

The Jurassic Skyline tower from Weymouth Beach
The groundworks of the tower, seen in December 2011

The tower, designed as a tourist attraction, took eight months to built at a cost of £3.5 million. It was designed in Germany and built in Hungary and France, before being shipped in sections to be assembled on site. Work commenced in October 2011, when excavation of the 18-metre deep foundations started. The ground-level reception building was the last part of the tower to be built in June 2012, in time for the Olympic events.[6] The idea of such a tower had been put forward in 2009-10. After a number of sites across Europe were considered, Weymouth was selected due to its far-reaching vistas and its closeness to the Sea Life Park.[7]

The tower had been funded by private money as one of the 90-strong worldwide attraction network operated by the Poole-based Merlin Entertainments, who also owns the nearby Sea Life Park and the Pirate Adventure Golf at Lodmoor Country Park. Completed a week ahead of schedule, an early running of the tower was enjoyed by a host of VIP guests, including borough mayor Margaret Leicester, and local councillors and business community representatives.[7] In a 2012 article by The Sun, the tower was speculated to be able to carry more than 2,000 passengers over the course of one day at its busiest.[6]

Thirteen people got stuck up the tower when it malfunctioned on 5 September 2017. They were winched to safety by a coastguard helicopter.[8][9] Following an investigation, the tower re-opened on 22 October.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Merlin to open Weymouth Sea Life Tower ahead of schedule". Attractions Management. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  2. ^ "Weymouth SEA LIFE Tower". Visitsealife.com. Archived from the original on 2012-12-14. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  3. ^ "Explore the Weymouth SEA LIFE Tower". Weymouth-tower.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  4. ^ 20/06/2012 16:26 Updated: 20/06/2012 16:26 (2012-06-20). "Weymouth Sea Life Tower, £3.5m Structure, To Open On Friday". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  5. ^ Patrick Greenfield (5 September 2017). "Coastguard rescues 13 people trapped in Weymouth tower". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Holiday News | Weymouth Sea Life Tower taking shape | The Sun |Travel". The Sun. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  7. ^ a b "Sea Life Tower: Weymouth's £3.5m tourist attraction to open tomorrow (From Dorset Echo)". Dorsetecho.co.uk. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  8. ^ "Thirteen people stuck up 174ft Skyline Tower in Weymouth". BBC News. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Thirteen people stuck up 174ft Jurassic Skyline Tower in Weymouth". The Telegraph. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  10. ^ http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/15626536.Weymouth_s_Jurassic_Skyline_tower_could_become_a_permanent_fixture_of_resort/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°36′30″N 2°27′00″W / 50.6083°N 2.4500°W / 50.6083; -2.4500