Coroner asks MSQ to re­port on ferry

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Harry Clarke

AN in­quest into the death of a Moss­man fa­ther whose ve­hi­cle plunged into the Dain­tree River af­ter ca­reer­ing off the ca­ble ferry will ex­am­ine safety pro­to­cols im­ple­mented on the ves­sel since the tragedy.

Ju­lian Wlo­dar­czyk was jour­ney­ing home from a trip north when he caught the ferry across the river just af­ter 12am on a rainy night in April 2013.

A heart at­tack has been sug­gested as a pos­si­ble rea­son his ve­hi­cle rolled for­ward and fell into the wa­ter, float­ing briefly be­fore sink­ing, 15-20m from the southern bank.

Mr Wlo­dar­czyk, then 63, could not be re­trieved by the ferry op­er­a­tor and his car was later pulled to the bank with his body in­side.

A coro­nial in­quest into his death be­gan on Tues­day in the Cairns Coroner’s Court to ex­am­ine the mea­sures for controlling the move­ment of ve­hi­cles on the ferry.

How­ever the mat­ter was ad­journed un­til Fe­bru­ary when it was de­cided new safety pro­ce­dures im­ple­mented by Sir­ron, the com­pany which owns the ferry, should be re­viewed by Mar­itime Safety Queens­land, who were rep­re­sented at the in­quest.

An ear­lier fa­tal in­ci­dent at the ferry, in which a truck col­lided with a car as the ve­hi­cles were dis­em­bark­ing, was also to be ex­am­ined.

Coroner Kevin Priestly said he may re­duce the num­ber of wit­nesses to give ev­i­dence, which was to in­clude cur­rent Sir­ron employees, pend­ing the out­come of the MSQ ex­perts’ re­view.

Mr Wlo­dar­czyk, who would have cel­e­brated his 65th birth­day on Tues­day, is sur­vived by daugh­ter Aye­sha and twin sons Jay and Paddy.

Paddy Wlo­dar­czyk, 27, said his fa­ther had lived most of his life in Far North Queens­land and would be re­mem­bered as a happy, pos­i­tive per­son who loved the blues har­mon­ica and mu­sic by Neil Young.

Moss­man woman Tahni Rush, now work­ing in Lon­don, pho­tographed out­side Buck­ing­ham Palace last week fol­low­ing her royal in­vi­ta­tion to at­tend a re­cep­tion (inset)

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