Matt Barclay inquest: Carnival should have stopped
A LAWYER with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland believes the surf lifesaving event that claimed Matt Barclay's life should have been postponed or abandoned.
The Sunshine Coast teenager disappeared while he was racing in rough seas during the Surf Life Saving national championships on the Gold Coast in 2012.
His body was found the next day.
Peter Hurrey - acting principal legal officer for WHSQ and a Sunshine Coast lifesaver, said there were earlier competitors concerned about the conditions and lifeguards concerns not communicated up the ladder to senior officials during national championships.
He said the people making a decision on whether to run the under 15 event, who had earlier postponed events due to big seas, should have taken into account it was a children's event and that the Inflatable Rescue Boat was on the beach instead of in the water.
The investigator said in his report that two jet skis were operating near the under 15 race Matt ,14, was racing in and recommended officials look at having crews in the competition zones.
Mr Hurrey agreed, under questioning from other lawyers, that the jetski's power and agility could be compromised with a second person weighing it down.
He said he was also concerned about risk assessment performed using an "app" where users entered their perception of the danger that day.
Mr Hurrey said it was "worse than useless" because it could give users a false sense that what they were doing was correct.
He suggested such quantitative risk assessments, where a number dictates the risk, was not appropriate with such wildly changing conditions at play in surf events.
Matt's dad Steve said outside court that he hoped to see some recommendations "that prevent this type of thing from occurring".
"Firm recommendations that concern policies and processes and the way carnivals ... are run," he said.
Mr Barclay said this afternoon's evidence would include two risk consultants for Surf Life Saving Australia.
He said there were more witnesses tomorrow to conclude and he was relieved the inquest was nearing its end.
"I think the way it's gone so far, there's been good points and bad points that have come out and I''m sure that surf life saving will concede that," he said.
"It's been a long time and with having to read several hundred pages of documents that were given to us last week it's put an added pressure on everyone including Surf Life Saving who've only just had the time to go through all these documents.
"We accept that the processes take time and we abide by that.
"Some points are very difficult to listen to, certainly not like the first part of the trial where we heard from the pathologist so some of these things are more perfunctory than anything so my daughter was able to listen to a short amount of it before she left but I understand she's upset now."
The inquest continues.
Matt Barclay inquest examines surf carnival safety
A CORONIAL inquest into the death of Sunshine Coast lifesaver Matt Barclay during a carnival event on the Gold Coast continues today.
The Brisbane court is expected to hear from Workplace Health and Safety and surf lifesaving members.
There are questions surrounding whether the national championships should have been cancelled over safety concerns.
Matt, 14, disappeared in the surf off Kurrawa, while competing in a board event at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast, on March 28, 2012.
His body was found a day later.
It was first believed he had been knocked unconscious by a wayward board and drowned.
But the inquest has heard an autopsy did not reveal any neck or head injuries and the cause of death was drowning.
The coronial inquest in Brisbane is considering "the adequacy of the policies and procedures in place at the Surf Life Saving Australia 2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, relating to the postponement or abandonment of competition for the safety of competitors", and "the application of those policies and procedures to the conditions present at Kurrawa on March 28, 2012".
Matt, one of Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club's rising stars, was the third lifesaver to die at Kurrawa, after Saxon Bird drowned in 2010 and Robert Gatenby died in 1996.
Saxon was knocked off his surf ski by a wayward surf ski, also prompting an inquest.