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WATCH: Preview of SeaWorld San Diego's Arctic Rescue ride

By Jermaine Ong,


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – SeaWorld San Diego’s newest roller coaster is set to open Friday.

The park’s latest thrill ride, Arctic Rescue, reaches speeds of up to 40 MPH and is considered family friendly, with a 48 inch height limit.

SeaWorld officials said the ride is the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast.

Riders will jump on a snowmobile and race around a lengthy track, similar to the rescue teams SeaWorld sends around the world to help animals in need.

"From start to finish it really ties it together," says Project Manager Paige Brokman. "You learn about the animals, then you go on your own mission, and you get off the ride and you're right there in the Beluga whale exhibit. You get to see them all up close. The belugas, the seals, the walruses, it's really great."

The ride brings attention to climate change and the shrinking polar ice caps, which put many animals in danger.

"With the receding ice up there, some of these animals are in peril," says Mitzi Synnott, the Zoological Director of Wild Arctic at the park. "Anyone can do simple things to help conserve electricity and energy, so green house gas is going down... If everybody chipped in, it can make a big difference for species like these."

Park officials said the coaster will bring awareness to the pressures the Artic is facing and allows guests to visit, see and learn about the animals which call the Arctic their home.

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