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Victims’ family ‘devastated and horrified’ by evidence at Dreamworld inquest

Victims’ family ‘devastated and horrified’ by evidence at Dreamworld inquest
June 23, 2018

The family of two of the victims from the Dreamworld tragedy say the death of their loved ones have "throttled" them and they hold the theme park completely responsible.

Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett's father, Shayne Goodchild, and her partner, David Turner, released a statement on the fifth day of the inquest into their deaths on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

The statement advised “we are tired and devastated and horrified by the evidence that has come out this.

"We hold Dreamworld totally responsible for this tragic event that could have so easily been avoided.

"It has throttled our family."

In a statement, Dreamworld Chief Executive Craig Davidson said his thoughts remained with the families of the victims.

Davidson stated “we understand that this has been a harrowing week for them and that they are devastated and horrified.

"We share those feelings. We are truly sorry this happened.

"It is our aim to assist the coroner as best we can to help understand how this tragedy occurred, and what we can do to ensure it never happens again."

As reported yesterday by the ABC, the inquest heard an "almost identical" collision occurred two years prior and a ride operator was fired.

The inquiry heard a large water pump feeding the ride broke down, water levels dropped and a raft got stuck on the conveyor before two vessels collided.

Dreamworld employee Chloe Brix worked on the ride regularly and told the inquest she heard "through gossip" that a ride operator was terminated in November 2014 because of a safety issue but was never told by management what exactly had occurred.

Barrister Steven Whybrow, for Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, told the court it was "an almost identical incident of rafts coming into contact" after a pump had gone off.

Whybrow added "I'll suggest this is what apparently had occurred.

"The operator … shut down a pump on the Rapid ride without verifying the location of all of the rafts.

"This led to a situation where a raft containing guests bottomed out at the top of the conveyor due to a lack of water supply.

"An additional raft containing guests has then collided with it which, continued to be pushed by the conveyor until the conveyor was shut down.”

Questioning Brix, Whtbrow asked “are you aware of that incident?

Brix replied “no.”

Whybrow then asked "you were just made aware that he had not followed procedure about stopping and starting up pumps?"

Brix replied “yes."

The inquest heard the park's technicians were not taught how to assess whether a ride fault could be dangerous.

Dreamworld fitter and turner Matthew Robertson advised that he had to use his own judgment to decide whether a fault was dangerous.

Robertson told the inquiry during busy periods he could be called to about 20 ride shutdowns in one day due to faults.

He said that on the day of the fatal incident he was called to the Thunder River Rapids ride twice because of pump failures.

Robertson said guests were getting "irritable" after the first pump failure at 11.50am because of the time it was taking to evacuate them off the ride and get it fixed, so he asked the electrical department how to reset the pumps himself.

Roberston told the court "I thought if we knew and were allowed to reset them, it might speed the process up.”

Counsel assisting the Coroner Rhiannon Helsen asked Robertson if the electrical department was "stretched quite thin" on the day of the fatalities and he replied "yes, that's correct", adding “the electrical team were distracted that day due to other issues they needed to attend to in the park.” Robertson testified he helped reset the pump after the second breakdown and told a supervisor the entire ride should be shut down if it happened a third time.

He told the court he had never been told by management that rafts had previously flipped on the ride.

The inquest heard on Thursday that a senior ride operator had not participated in any emergency drills or simulations since the fatalities in 2016.

Prior to the event there was also "no scenario training" from Dreamworld to deal with an event of rafts being stranded on a conveyor belt.

The court also heard there was no alarm to signal when a pump had malfunctioned on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

Images: Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low were killed when they were thrown from a vessel on the Thunder River Rapids ride in October 2016 (top) and the ride in action prior to the fatalities (below). 

22nd June 2018 - DREAMWORLD RIDE OPERATOR ‘DISTRESSED’ OVER INQUEST ROLE

21st June 2018 - INQUEST HEARS DREAMWORLD RIDE OPERATOR ‘PRESSURED’ NOT TO TALK TO POLICE AFTER FATALITIES

19th June 2018 - DREAMWORLD INQUEST HEARS THAT RIDE STAFF WERE TOLD NOT TO ‘WORRY ABOUT’ EMERGENCY STOP BUTTON

18th June 2018  - CORONIAL INQUEST BEGINS INTO 2016 DREAMWORLD FATALITIES

3rd April 2018 - VICTIMS OF DREAMWORLD RIDE ‘DIED ALMOST INSTANTLY’ 

11th March 2018 - DREAMWORLD DEMOLISHES THUNDER RIVER RAPIDS RIDE

16th October 2017 - QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT PASSES INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER LAWS IN WAKE OF DREAMWORLD FATALITIES

29th September 2017 - GARY WEISS TAKES ON CHAIRMAN’S ROLE AT ARDENT LEISURE

14th September 2017 - DREAMWORLD TO REMOVE MOUNTAIN SURROUNDING ITS EUREKA MOUNTAIN MINE RIDE

27th August 2017 - DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY HIGHLIGHTS LEGAL DUTY OF CARE FOR THEME PARK GUESTS

14th August 2017 - SUMMIT LOOKS TO ENHANCE INDUSTRY COMMUNICATION, AWARDS RECOGNISE MARKETING EXCELLENCE

26th July 2017 - ARDENT LEISURE SHAREHOLDER ARIADNE CALLS FOR $25 MILLION IN NEW ATTRACTIONS AT DREAMWORLD

20th July 2017 - SUMMIT DELEGATES TO BE EQUIPPED WITH SKILLS TO COMMUNICATE IN A CRISIS

13th July 2017 - ENTRIES OPEN FOR SECOND LEISURE INDUSTRY COMMUNICATION AND MARKETING AWARDS

29th June 2017 - INDUSTRY SUMMIT TO EQUIP PROFESSIONALS WITH ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS 

4th April 2017 - ARDENT LEISURE CHIEF EXECUTIVE ‘APPEARED TO BE DUCKING FOR COVER’ FOLLOWING DREAMWORLD FATALITIES 

15th December 2011 - DREAMWORLD CELEBRATES 30TH BIRTHDAY 

29th October 2011 - PRICE WAR HITS REVENUE AT ARDENT ATTRACTIONS 


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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.

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