The husband of Dreamworld victim Cindy Low says he and his family were just “unlucky” and he does not blame the ride attendants for what happened that day.
On October 25, 2016, Mrs Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi were killed when the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned.
Mathew Low’s son Kieran was also on the ride and survived.
Mr Low told 7.30 that despite reports Kieran had been thrown from the raft, he believed his son was helped off the raft by an attendant.
Mr Low said he feels for the ride attendants who were working that day.
“They were just doing their jobs as they’d been trained, and thinking that they were doing the right thing through this process,” he said.
“I don’t have any ill feelings towards any of the ride attendants on that day.
“They were put in an awful situation, and they’d never been trained on how to deal with that situation.”
“It’s a massive hole that’s left when Cindy left.” Mathew Low, husband of #Dreamworld victim Cindy Low, speaks out about the 2016 disaster. Tomorrow on #abc730. Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure has been contacted for comment. pic.twitter.com/XGhQ81punT
— abc730 (@abc730) August 15, 2018
Mr Low said he attended the coronial inquest into the incident every day “for Cindy, and to hear the truth”.
Dreamworld declined the opportunity to be interviewed for this story. Its parent company, Ardent Leisure, is preparing a statement for 7.30.
‘What would Cindy do?’
The Lows were at Dreamworld as part of a family holiday organised by Mrs Low.
After the incident, Mr Low said he had “to make so many decisions with so many emotions that you just become exhausted”.
“You’re almost in a very surreal state where you’re watching things happen, but you’re not feeling part of the situation. In the immediate aftermath, it was definitely how I felt, and then not sleeping.”
His said his two children, Kieran and Isla, were his priority.
“One of the things I’ve found is just actually taking the time just to sit and let the children talk to me, especially when you’re sort of used to being really busy and running around,” he said.
I find now we spend a lot of time just quietly sitting and reflecting. We also set up just time where the children can write, express, or draw any of their sorts of feelings.
“It’s really challenging. You don’t realise how often there are lots of things that bring back memories of people when they’re gone that hit really hard. You’ve got birthdays, which are particularly difficult, anniversaries.
“Mother’s Day is a big challenge for the children. We don’t ignore it, but we spend a bit of time doing other stuff, and we might just spend the day at home, or take a bit of time out to sort of remember Cindy.
“There were lots of times where I didn’t really know what I was going to do, but I just would take one day at a time.
“It’s a massive hole that’s left when Cindy left, and I didn’t know how to do it to start with.
“It was really just focusing on each day, and spending as much time with the kids as possible. That really helped me, and I know that’s something that Cindy would have wanted as well because they meant the world to her.”
Don’t waste opportunities
He said the tragedy had taught him to “not waste the opportunity that you have to live, and that life is very precious”.
“It was a huge shock to lose Cindy, and the way that we now approach it is sort of, ‘What would Cindy do?’ as sort of a question.
“Well, ‘What would mum do?’ is what the kids ask in terms of, if we’re looking for something to do, or memories to think about, and approach. If we approach anything, it’s sort of, ‘What would Cindy do?’
“She might do something quirky, or creative, and that’s sort of how I get through some challenging decisions that I have to make at the moment, or any time.
“We were just the unlucky ones.”
‘People were very generous’
In the days after the tragedy, Deborah Thomas, then-CEO of Ardent Leisure, came under fire for claiming the company had contacted all the victims’ families, when one of those families said they had not been contacted.
Mr Low said he could not recall if Ms Thomas called him before or after that press conference.
He said he had “no complaints” about the dealings he had with the company following the tragedy.
“They try and help out if I need help. They would help out, but I haven’t really communicated much with them.”
Mr Low said he was overwhelmed by the support he had received from friends, family and strangers.
“That’s the most amazing part about this. I’m so thankful to all the people that did help out — family and friends, particularly neighbours, people from the kids’ schools,” he said.
“Lots of people just turned up with food, or took the kids out to do something different to help out, and they still do. Without that sort of help it would have been really even more challenging, but it’s been really amazing to have that support around me.
“I had so many people contact me that I didn’t know, just to share their condolences, and people were very generous to us.”