Family’s message for Dreamworld ride operator
A LAWYER representing the families of victims from the Dreamworld tragedy has told an inquest they don't hold any blame towards the man operating the ride that malfunctioned.
Peter Nemeth was the main ride operator of the Thunder River Rapids attraction when Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died at the Gold Coast theme park.
Mr Nemeth gave evidence at the Southport Coroners Court on Wednesday as part of an inquest into the tragedy.
Before beginning his cross-examination of Mr Nemeth, barrister Steven Whybrow, acting for Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett's relatives, issued a brief statement.
"They don't hold you in the least bit responsible for what happened on that day," Mr Whybrow said.
Mr Nemeth said he had not been criticised by Dreamworld for his actions on the day of the tragedy since the incident.
Earlier the inquest heard a ride operator was expected to undertake 36 different responsibilities within up to a minute as they loaded guests on to a raft and dispatched them on the ride.
Barrister Matthew Hickey, representing Ms Low's family, put it to Mr Nemeth that undertaking so many tasks in such a short space of time was "impossible". "Yes, I agree," Mr Nemeth replied.
The inquest was also told of an incident that had occurred at the park's Log Ride attraction some months before the tragedy.
In April 2016 a man fell from the ride after "skylarking".
The inquest heard park staff did not know anyone had fallen from the ride until the log returned to the unloading area, in which time another log had actually gone over the person.
Mr Nemeth said as a result of that incident more CCTV cameras were installed on the log ride for operators to monitor guests.
The inquest also heard Mr Nemeth did not know first aid and hadn't received any specialist training for large-scale emergencies.
Barrister Michael Hickey, representing Ms Low's family, asked: "Were you trained in any way in rescuing passengers who might become trapped on the ride?" "No," Mr Nemeth replied.
A safety record for the ride produced at the inquest showed ride operators had indicated the attraction's first-aid kit was not fully stocked from October 18 to 23, 2016.
"Most of the items were there, it was usually the number of bandaids," Mr Nemeth said.
"I'm speculating because that was the usual occurrence."
Mr Nemeth's fellow ride operator on the day of the tragedy, Courtney Williams, also gave evidence on Wednesday afternoon.