Man with fear of heights stuck for hours on bungee ride

/ Source: staff and news service reports

A man trying to overcome his fear of heights agreed to go on a bungee ride, only to get stuck in the air for three hours due to a malfunction.

William Mancera promised he would try the ride after his good-intentioned fiancee, Thalia Rodriguez, convinced him it would help with his phobia.

The two Irving, Texas, residents boarded the Dallas amusement park ride on Monday, and ended up dangling an estimated 50 feet off the ground because cables got tangled.

"I was pretty confident: 'It's going to be over within less than 60 seconds, no problem,'" Mancera, 23, told KXAS of the Texas Blastoff ride at Zero Gravity Thrill Park.

But the 60-second ride ended up being a three-hour ordeal.

Dallas firefighters worked for hours to rescue the couple, neither of whom was injured.

"We were stuck at an angle ... I'm never riding anything of that sort ever again," Mancera told KXAS, laughing.

The Texas Blastoff slingshots riders — who are strapped into racing seats — 150 feet into the air and back using bungee cords. Only two people ride it at a time, Rodriguez, Mancera's fiancee, told

Dallas Fire-Rescue was called after the park management tried unsuccessfully to fix the malfunction.

"I was freaking out because I didn't see how they could get us down," Rodriguez said to "They just kept calling fire truck after fire truck."

Mancera and Rodriguez were eventually lowered to safety by a special fire engine with a basket attached to the ladder. Their necks and backs were sore, and Rodriguez said they were "pretty dehydrated" - the temperature had been in the triple digits that day - but otherwise fine.

The couple plans to marry in February. Mancera said his fiancee's backfired attempt to help him has actually strengthened their relationship.

"We laughed, we got into a fight up there, and then she kinda cried. We had all these emotions up there at one time," he said to KXAS. "If we can get past that, I'm sure everything else is good."

Added Rodriguez, "He is scared of heights, but he was the one calming me down. It was really relaxed at one point." But that doesn't mean she plans on coaxing Mancera back into the bungee seat.

"We will never go on these ever, ever again," she said. "Our kids will never go on them, our brothers and sisters will never go on them - we're done."

Zero Gravity has no injury reports in the last five years, according to KXAS.'s Elizabeth Chuck, The Associated Press, and Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS-TV contributed to this report.