Coroner asks MSQ to report on ferry
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)