Dreamworld Ride Was Safe Says Staffer
A Dreamworld employee didn't believe there was any risk to guests on the Thunder River Rapids ride despite engaging an electrical firm to inspect a fault days before an accident in which four people died.
Electrical engineering supervisor Scott Ritchie emailed Applied Electro to request an electrician to inspect the ride after multiple faults in the ageing ride's south water pump.
Three days after Ritchie made his request - and with the ride yet to be inspected - a malfunction on the faulty water pump led to a collision between two rafts, causing them to flip.
Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi all died in the accident.
At an inquest into their deaths at Southport Coroners Court on Tuesday, Ritchie said he had no reason to believe the ride was unsafe for guests.
"Not once did I think there was a safety issue because there were procedures in place which safely brought the rafts home," he told the inquest.
Barrister Matthew Hickey, for Low's family, asked Ritchie if he should have taken into account the possibility of an operator failing to follow the procedures in an emergency situation.
"You may as well not open the park," Ritchie replied.
"If you don't follow procedures in everyday life, things happen.
"The pump was not the cause, in my view, of what happened there that horrible day."
Ritchie denied having ever been put under pressure to minimise the down time of the Thunder River Rapids ride, which was one of the most popular in the park.
Ritchie requested a $10,000 upgrade to the ride's control panel in August 2015 before a safety upgrade to the ride's conveyor.
His proposal was knocked back but in a written statement to police following the disaster Ritchie said he was comfortable there was "no urgency to attend to this work".
The inquest was also shown documents revealing Dreamworld had been seeking quotes for replacement rafts for the ageing ride.
Maintenance supervisor Mark Watkins emailed Swiss firm Intamin in May 2016 regarding acquiring replacement rafts while a comprehensive quote by a firm called Dynamic Attractions offering 12 new rafts for $US12,125 per boat from June 2016 was also shown to the court.
Watkins said the rafts were merely being sought as a matter of pre-emption, not over concerns they were too old to be in operation.
It was unclear if the decision to seek replacements for rafts was made following concerns in January 2016 that the rafts were taking on too much water during the day to remain operational.
An email from a senior manager at the park described a plan to shut down the ride for half an hour each day to drain the rafts as "World War 3".
The inquest continues on Wednesday.