A THRILL-SEEKER has told how he feared he would be injured after a pier ride malfunctioned.

Maison Smith, 22, of Colchester, was enjoying a day out at Clacton Pier with his friends when they decided to have a go on the popular Miami Beach Party ride.

The classic ride, which returned to the outer deck in September 2020, consists of a row of seats which are rotated in a vertical circle.

Shortly after being secured in his seat, Mr Smith says the attraction started making a clunking sound and a metal step which is meant to lower before the ride spins failed to function.


Mr Smith, who is a former ride operator, said: “After the ride started flying around, it decided it wanted to keep hitting a mechanism on the step.

“The children were too young to understand what was going on but we screamed about the ramp and everyone followed.

“After alerting the operator he stopped the ride but he didn’t let us off and he did not check to see if we were OK.

“He then started the ride again while everyone was holding their legs in the air for dear life while trying to tell him to stop the ride.

“I don’t usually moan but it nearly cost me and my partner’s legs.

“It is unacceptable and I am shocked and shook.”


Billy Ball, director at Clacton Pier, was on site on the day of the incident and stressed no-one was put at risk.

He said: “There was a small issue with a thin decorative aluminium panel - roughly the size of a piece of A4 paper - which hit the edge of the loading step.

“Although it made a noise, and I can understand why Mr Smith may have been alarmed, at no point was anyone at any risk.”

After being brought to the attention of the ride operator and the pier’s head of technical services Mr Ball says the panel was fixed.

The ride, tested by independent inspectors and regularly maintained, was then reopened.

“As far as I am concerned the matter was raised on the day and fully investigated,” added Mr Ball.

“There was no further communication from Mr Smith, but should he wish to discuss this he is welcome to come back and see us at any time.”