At 2.20pm on Tuesday David Goodchild was standing with his baby daughter waiting for his wife and other daughter, Ebony, to re-emerge.
The mother and daughter had gone together on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast.
Along with their uncle, Luke Dorsett, 35, and his partner Roozi Araghi, 38, the four had stood in the long line ready for what is billed as a ride down a “foamy water track” at up to 45km per hour.
Kate Goodchild, Ebony and David Goodchild. Via Facebook.
At one stage as they waited in the line, the four family members were ushered forward by a New Zealand man who gave them his place in the queue as he was waiting for his mother-in-law to join him. Ebony, her mother, Kate, Luke and Roozi skipped ahead a spot, ready to take their fateful place in the ride that would end in tragedy.
The New Zealand man, now stunned by his misfortune and weighed down by survivor guilt, told Newshub he saw things he wished he hadn’t.
But before that, in the moments when life was still as it had been, standing in the blazing sun was David Goodchild.
He was waiting, like so many thousands and thousands of dads had before him with the littlest member of the family. too small to yet go on the rides. One hand on his daughter Evie’s pram he watched the crowds mill about him with a holiday vibe in a special part of the world.
The air filled with the scent of sunscreen and fast food and the screams of delight from exited patrons.
But just moments, later those screams would turn to screams of a different sort. Moments later, David Goodchild would hear the chaos and the screams of horror.
The howls and shrieks of those around him and the unmistakable voice of his 12-year-old daughter Ebony screaming “Where's Mummy? Where's Mummy?"
He dropped his phone and wallet and ran into the water. Panic stricken he rushed to the raft that had once held his wife and daughter.
The raft that carried the occupants through the Thunder River Rapids experience had flipped as it came to the conveyor belt drop-off point. It had hit a raft in front of it, ejecting Ebony Goodchild and a 10-year-old boy, also on the ride with his mother Cindy, and turned on its back.
12-year-old Ebony survived the disaster. Via Facebook.
While Ebony and Kieran were saved in what police described as "the providence of God", the four adults suffered a horrific fate, crushed in the mechanism of the conveyor belt while helpless Dave Goodchild watched on.
Gold Coast Police Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said that after viewing CCTV of the footage he can’t understand how anyone survived.