A police officer who was exposed to four dead bodies after the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy in 2016 is suing the theme park’s parent company.
Andrew James Mainey said while working as a Gold Coast police officer, he was sent to “the scene of the carnage” on October 25, 2016, to assist paramedics and first responders.
Mr Mainey said in a court affidavit that he saw the body of a male victim, who was declared dead after resuscitation attempts failed.
“I could also see bodies caught up in the gears of the Thunder River rapids ride,” Mr Mainey said.
Mr Mainey said it was also his job to hold a black sheet over the victims.
“I was required to stand on the conveyor belt, which was situated above the bodies caught in the gears,” Mr Mainey said in his affidavit.
“I remember holding the black sheet up for a period of time while the recovery process was being undertaken.”
Mr Mainey said over the next five days he helped with the investigation, ensuring unauthorised people did not enter the site.
During his shifts over the five days he was seated at the entrance to the ride, he said.
“During this time, I continued to be exposed to the investigation being conducted and hearing the discussions about the incident among authorities,” Mr Mainey said.
Mr Mainey said after the Dreamworld incident he began having nightmares, and feeling negative emotions, irritability and a lack of trust, but continued with his police work.
He said in September, last year, he injured his right knee after arresting an offender and had a number of weeks off work.
In December, he lodged an application for compensation after having issues with a supervisor whom he said claimed he was exaggerating his symptoms after his return to work.
His GP referred him to a psychiatrist, who in December, last year, diagnosed him as having post traumatic stress disorder, as a result of seeing dead and dismembered bodies at Dreamworld.
Mr Mainey said in his affidavit that the psychiatrist delved deeper into his work history and quickly identified the Dreamworld incident as the catalyst of his psychological injury.
He instructed lawyers after he was unable to continue working for Queensland Police Service.
Sciacca’s Lawyers, for Mr Mainey, applied to the court for the limitation period for making a claim to be extended, so he could pursue a personal injuries claim.
A notice of claim was served on Dreamworld parent company Ardent Leisure in March, but a claim is yet to be filed in the court.
Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died after their ride raft flipped.
Last year Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure was convicted and fined $3.6 million, after entering guilty pleas to three workplace health and safety charges, following a lengthy coronial inquest.
Ardent Leisure Limited declined to comment.