Speaker 1 (00:00):
Survivors and the brave bystanders who rushed to help in the SeaWorld helicopter disaster have been dealt a blow. They may be denied compensation despite the costs of their ongoing trauma.
Steve Hart (00:12):
Images blurred for television, but for those who survived it, it remains vivid.
Winnie De Silva (00:16):
It’s an impact that is happening to me and Leon the rest of our lives. I’ve got metals in my body.
Steve Hart (00:22):
Winnie De Silva and her son, Leon, on along with 10-year-old Nicholas Tadros somehow survived this. His mother, Vanessa, UK couple, Ron and Diane Hughes and Pilot Ash Jenkinson did not. The interim ATSB report gave more questions than comfort.
Winnie De Silva (00:38):
Why would they use a helicopter that has issues or has technical issues to take people on a ride?
Steve Hart (00:45):
Referring to a non-working transponder and a partially working collision avoidance system.
Winnie De Silva (00:50):
There’s no way I’m going to helicopter ride in my life again. That is just something I will never do.
Steve Hart (00:56):
A tragedy with a ripple effect of horror. The bystanders who helped pull bodies from the wreck can’t forget.
Ron Drevlak (01:02):
Yeah, I don’t think I’ve had a decent sleep since the day that it’s happened.
Steve Hart (01:06):
Ron Drevlak, one of a handful of people in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Ron Drevlak (01:10):
I still got a lot of images and stuff in my head that I would rather not have.
Steve Hart (01:16):
And now a further kick in the guts. A specialist lawyer says, insurers in Queensland may not have to pay compensation.
Peter Carter (01:23):
A person is not liable for any injuries that arise out of a dangerous recreational activity.
Steve Hart (01:30):
Peter Carter is calling for immediate change to the law. SeaWorld helicopters told 7 News their tight-knit staff are also deeply traumatized and are keen to get back to work as soon as possible and some sort of normality, but wouldn’t say when that is. Ron is not looking for a payout. He just wants to feel normal again, but knows he helped save lives that day.
Ron Drevlak (01:52):
Yeah. Yeah, I do. I know that.
Steve Hart (01:54):
Steve Hart, 7 News.
And Steve joins us at the desk now. And Steve, you have breaking news on that rule that could deny survivor’s compensation.
Steve Hart (02:03):
Yes, Sharon. We’ve just received a text from the government’s department after raising the issue with them today, and they’re reviewing the matter rather urgently now. In the message, it says that the premier and her office offer their sympathies to all those impacted. And Attorney General Shannon Fentiman says her department has called for urgent advice regarding the prospect of victims not receiving compensation. So Sharon, hopefully a breakthrough for those victims is not far away.
Yeah, let’s hope they can sort it quickly. All right. Thank you, Steve.