Investigator says emergency stop button may have prevented deaths in 2016 deaths at Gold Coast Dreamworld

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The deaths of four people on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride on the Gold Coast could have been avoided with the press of an emergency button, a coronial inquest has heard.

Read more from (Australia) ABC.

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Jeff's avatar

It seems like the investigation is focusing on the operational failures, which are definitely huge failures, but the fact that a boat can tip over when the water level is too low seems like a huge design flaw. I wouldn't think it would even be an issue to have some shut off mechanism for low water... the transition into the conveyor simply shouldn't allow that.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

The part that stood out to me "young ride op" and it happened before in 2001 with an empty ride.

So how could the ride op know what might happen if the last time it happened the ride op was 2 or 3 years old

Training was clearly insufficient if they were told "Don't use that shut off"


janfrederick's avatar

From my experience as a ride operator, these rapids rides are dangerous. At least the one I operated. Perhaps they have since solved the problem, but raft flips seemed to happen more commonly than they should have (never in my opinion). Very surprised nobody died while I was there.

And in all cases, the e-stop would not have prevented the flip. Takes a while for the river to stop flowing.

Last edited by janfrederick,
"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Pete's avatar

The raft didn't flip on the river, the raft flipped on the conveyor lift because the raft that flipped hit a raft that was hung up at the top of the lift. An e-stop would have stopped the lift to prevent this from happening.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Jeff's avatar

Maybe not. The way I read the previous reporting, the raft flipped because the low water level allowed it to get stuck under the conveyor.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

And someone’s brilliant idea to make the slats on the lift so far apart that a boat could get wedged in between them. Awful all the way around.

kpjb's avatar

Yes, there were fails on many levels that lead to this. Inexcusable.


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