Fury at tragedy on Daintree ferry
THE son of a man who died after driving off the Daintree Ferry three years ago is still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
Paddy Wlodaeczyk said he now hated the trip across the Daintree River and the family hoped for compensation from the ferry company for 62-yearold Julian Wlodaeczyk’s death.
An inquest resumed in Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday, with Coroner Kevin Priestly slamming the company Sirron’s ability to manage risk at the time of the 2013 death as “woefully deficient”.
“There seems to be a basic knowledge of risk management,” he said. “The material I saw historically in relation to this vessel suggests there is not the level of understanding that would help implement in the documents.”
Sirron director Christopher Norris said there had never been cause for safety concerns on the ferry with the bollards and ropes previously in place.
“There was incidents where vehicles did try to drive through them and the bollards stopped them,” he said. “It worked for 15 years ...”
“(Given the number of vehicles which cross each year) the small number of incidents that have happened haven’t bought attention to the ferry.”
Sirron was issued with an improvement notice by Maritime Safety Queensland in September last year following a safety audit and Mr Norris said changes had been made, including a boom gate.
He said previously it had been “very hard” to get MSQ safety advice as there were few car ferries in the state.
“We were advised what we had was adequate because it had never happened to us.
“We’re probably the first ferry to have done this (safety upgrade) now.”
Outside court, Paddy Wlodaeczyk said the family were still furious and upset.
“We’re pretty upset that we never got anything out of it,” he said.
“Since that accident happened I’ve only been on the Daintree Ferry about three times and I used to go over all the time ... I hate going over that thing now. Money will never bring my dad back, but it would be some reassurance.”
The Coroner will hand down findings at a later date.
A floral tribue at the Daintree Ferry