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Paramedics describe horrific scene after Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids incident

Paramedics describe horrific scene after Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids incident
October 11, 2018

A paramedic who was one of the first on the scene at the fatal ride incident at Dreamworld in October 2016 has described what faced first responders.

Former Dreamworld safety officer Shane Green yesterday told the Coronial inquest examining the fatalities on the Thunder River Rapids ride that nothing could have improved the medics' response to the harrowing scene they were confronted with.

Green advised “in all honesty if you had had the world's leading cardiothoracic surgeon, neurosurgeons, traumatic surgeons in that place at the exact time it happened and with all their equipment nothing would have changed the outcome.

"With the injuries that they had suffered there was little more we could do."

The deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi are under examination at a coronial inquest on the Gold Coast after the group were killed instantly when their raft collided with an empty vessel and flipped backwards in October 2016.

Another paramedic who was one of the first on the scene said he did not immediately know a fourth person was trapped underwater.

Former Dreamworld safety officer John Clark told the court he was aware of three patients and was performing resuscitation when he was made aware of a fourth person.

Clark stated “when I was attempting to resuscitate the patient I had, I don't know if the water receded or the gentleman floated up, but there was another patient.”

Clark was rostered on as safety officer, stationed just 30 metres away from the entrance to the Thunder River Rapids ride on the day of the incident.

He said he realised the gravity of the situation the moment he arrived on the scene, advising "on that day, personally I've never come across anything that would have made my life, for want of a better word, easy. It was an extraordinary event.”

Green also agreed that there was a "degree of financial constraint" that prevented him from doing his job effectively.

Green and Clark are both taking legal action against Dreamworld, having engaged Shine Lawyers to sue the theme park’s operators for "psychological injuries" they suffered.

Earlier, Dreamworld ride operator Stephen Buss was asked if he was aware of emergency stop procedures for Dreamworld ride in relation to an earlier incident at the Gold Coast theme park.

Buss was sacked in 2014 for his role in an incident when two rafts containing visitors collided on the ride's conveyor belt, but no one was injured.

He agreed that emergency responses were "drilled" into staff and there were regular audits of staff, where emergency situations were spoken about.

As reported by the ABC, Buss explained “they would describe scenarios that were possible on the ride you know, pump stops and what you do, a guest falls in and what you do, a raft comes back and there's one less person, what you do.”

Buss said he was "confused" when he saw the 2016 incident on television and wondered why the conveyer was not stopped.

The inquest was also shown a letter from on-site union representative, Jarad Drysdale, which was addressed prior to the October 2016 incident to an email group titled ‘Dreamworld Operations Ideas’.

The letter detailed staff concerns that they did not have the support of management.

Drysdale wrote “talk about staff having to pee at their rides, leaving their rides unattended and even being hospitalised with a kidney infection because of personals taking too long.

"But my major concern about this in regards to the point I am trying to make is that staff say, supervisors don't care they are just out to get you."

Image: Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride in operation prior to the October 2016 fatalities.

Related Articles

9th October 2018 - Staff to sue Dreamworld over ‘significant psychological injuries’

8th October 2018 - Reopened Dreamworld inquest hears ‘everybody’ failed to ensure ride’s safety prior to fatalities

27th August 2018 - Dreamworld looks to attract visitors with entry fee drop and LEGO exhibition

23rd August 2018 - Village Roadshow blames Commonwealth Games and Dreamworld deaths for disappointing results

22nd August 2018 - Ardent Leisure losses grow as Dreamworld’s value declines by $75 million

16th August 2018 - Queensland Government regulators left inspections of fatal ride up to Dreamworld

30th July 2018 - Ride fatalities aftermath continues to drive down Dreamworld’s value

1st July 2018 - Coronial inquest claims Dreamworld Chief Executive

30th June 2018 - Ardent Leisure issues statement of apology over Dreamworld deaths

29th June 2018 - Dreamworld ride ‘should not have been in service’ at time of four guest fatalities

26th June 2018 - Inquest hears that Dreamworld cut back maintenance in months before 2016 ride fatalities

18th June 2018 - Coronial inquest begins into 2016 Dreamworld fatalities

28th March 2018 - Dreamworld and SkyPoint look to welcome Commonwealth Games athletes, volunteers and accredited media

26th July 2017 - Ardent Leisure shareholder Ariadne calls for $25 million in new attractions at Dreamworld

24th May 2017 - Ardent looks to quash Dreamworld sale rumours, explores site rezoning plan

4th April 2017 - Ardent Leisure Chief Executive ‘appeared to be ducking for cover’ following Dreamworld fatalities

30th November 2016 - Dreamworld and WhiteWater World to reopen on Saturday 10th December

9th November 2016 - Dreamworld announce ‘permanent closure’ of ride involved in fatal incident

27th October 2016 - Ardent Leisure in turmoil after Dreamworld ride tragedy


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