Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Drowning inquest finding shows Sydney’s Vivid Festival risk assessment ‘fundamentally flawed’

Drowning inquest finding shows Sydney’s Vivid Festival risk assessment ‘fundamentally flawed’
December 23, 2016

A risk assessment for Sydney's Vivid Festival in 2014 was "fundamentally flawed", an inquest into the drowning death of an Irishman during the event has found.

Brendan Hickey, aged 34, was on a night out viewing a large aquatic light show as part of the Vivid Festival with his girlfriend and two friends when he stood up, lost his balance, fell into the water and drowned at Cockle Bay, shortly before 11pm on 23rd May 2014.

He had been drinking heavily.

An inquest has found a risk assessment by event management company Concept Entertainment Group (CEG), did not identify the risk posed by the water's open edge during the Vivid Festival.

NSW Deputy Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan has recommended an independent review of risk assessment and management for events, including those organised by third parties.

In the inquest's findings, Coroner O'Sullivan stated "the CEG Risk Assessment 2014 and the CEG Risk Assessment 2015 were fundamentally flawed.

"Critically, the CEG Risk Assessment 2014 did not identify the risk to patrons presented by the open water's edge of Cockle Bay and as a consequence, did not assess the need, if any, for controls to be put in place to eliminate, isolate or reduce that risk."

Coroner O'Sullivan noted that there was a lifebuoy on a pylon close to where Hickey fell into the water, but "given the low lighting and the fact that the lifebuoy was white and attached to a white pylon, the lifebuoy was not visible."

The Coroner said a number of changes had been made by CEG, but "there is no evidence that the underlying weaknesses in CEG's risk assessment and risk management processes have been addressed".

The inquest heard that several witnesses, including Hickey's friends, thought he was joking and that it was up to 30 seconds before onlookers realised Hickey was in trouble.

Toxicology tests revealed Hickey had a blood alcohol level of 0.25% when he died.

The inquest also heard that he could not swim and that he had a genuine fear of the water.

Vivid Sydney, a "major, internationally renowned event", attracted more than 1.43 million people in 2014.

Click here to view the Coroner’s findngs.

Images: Vivid's aquatic light show at Cockle Bay Wharf (top) and Brendan Hickey (below).

9th September 2016 - VIVID SYDNEY INJECTS $110 MILLION INTO THE NSW ECONOMY

21st May 2015 - ACCESSIBILITY BOOST FOR VIVID SYDNEY 2015

6th April 2015 - VIVID SYDNEY TO DELIVER BIGGEST EVER PROGRAM

11th December 2014 - VIVID SET TO LIGHT UP SYDNEY AGAIN IN 2015


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

CERAMIC SOLUTIONS

Established in 1994, Ceramic Solutions has excelled at the supply and installation of swimming pool tiles and equipment for the pool and leisure industry, with a focus on the needs of end-users. …

read more

Aquatics / Design / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

TouchCloud Global

Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Recreation / Safety / Tourism

 
 

Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

ELITE POOL COVERS

Since 1989 Elite Pool Covers have designed and manufactured an extensive range of high quality affordable manual,semi-automatic and fully-automatic pool cover systems for the harsh Australian…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Technology / Venues

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 

Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues

 
 

Envibe

With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business