The 81 visitors had to be led to safety at the top of the 115-feet structure – Scotland’s busiest tourist attraction outside a city centre – for around 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon.
A Scottish Canals spokesman said: “During a boat trip on Sunday afternoon, the gate on one of The Falkirk Wheel’s gondolas failed to open, leaving the vessel unable to exit the structure.
“Passengers were therefore asked to disembark the boat within the gondola, with everyone on board escorted safely back to the visitor centre.
“Scottish Canals’ maintenance team were able to bring the Wheel back into operation after around 30 minutes and all customers affected were given refunds or booked onto later sailings.
“We’d like to thank everyone affected for their patience and understanding.”