Four people lost their lives on the Thunder River Rapids ride in October 2016. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Four people lost their lives on the Thunder River Rapids ride in October 2016. Picture: Glenn Hampson

Dreamworld rafts collided a decade before tragedy

A WOMAN was bumped from a raft on the Thunder River Rapids ride and fell into the water more than a decade before the 2016 Dreamworld tragedy, an inquest has been told.

Appearing in the witness stand on Thursday morning, safety first aid officer Ben Hicks was asked if he knew about a 2004 incident where rafts collided.

A woman subsequently overbalanced and fell into the swirling waters.

Mr Hicks said he was not aware of the incident.

Lawyers for the families of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi - who were killed in the October 25, 2016, incident - have raised serious

concerns about a lack of documentation over recommendations to simplify the control panel on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

In Wednesday's evidence, the inquest was told a union representative had emailed Dreamworld recommending the complex control panel be redesigned to incorporate just one emergency stop button that would shut down all parts of the ride simultaneously.

However, no other documents about the proposal have been located.

Acting for the father and partner of Kate Goodchild, barrister Steven Whybrow said the lack of documentation was a subject of "great concern" to his clients.

Acting for Ardent Leisure, barrister Bruce Hodgkinson defended the failure to locate any relevant documents, saying the sheer weight of material made it an onerous task.

He said Ardent had a full-time team dedicated to locating documents, files and emails.

Just on Monday, Ardent presented Counsel assisting the Coroner Ken Fleming, QC, with a batch of more than 1000 new documents.

Coroner James McDougall acknowledged that it would be 'an onerous task' to find all documents.



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