Safety first as Southern 80 Ski Race set to wow crowds this Sunday

06 February 2018

With tens of thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors expected to converge on the Murray River at the border town of Moama/Echuca this weekend, Roads and Maritime Services is urging everyone to prioritise safe behaviour, whether traveling to and from the event on the roads or on the water.

Executive Director of Maritime, Angus Mitchell said the biggest concerns to Roads and Maritime staff year-on-year often revolve around a lack of ‘common sense’, exacerbated by alcohol by some event spectators.

“Spectators are reminded swimming along the river is prohibited during the event, and all spectators should exercise extreme caution when near the event area, being mindful race vessels can be travelling up to 200 km/h,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Exclusion zones will be in place on Saturday from the 1690 kilometre river marker at Perricoota Marina near Goldsborough Road at Moama, to the 1712 kilometre river marker at Victoria Park at Echuca.

“On Sunday, exclusion zones will be in place from the Torrumbarry Weir to the 1712 kilometre river marker at the Victoria Park Boat Ramp at Echuca.
Roads and Maritime control vessels will mark each end of the course and advise any approaching craft of the river closure.

“Roads and Maritime Boating Safety Officers will be positioned along the race course to ensure the exclusion zone is adhered to.

“Roads and Maritime has worked extensively with event organisers and supporting government agencies to make the event as safe as possible, and has incorporated numerous conditions which have arisen from recommendations based on two safety reviews carried out in recent years.

“Occupants of moored vessels need to be aware of the regulations relating to their placement and requirements to moor parallel to the river bank.

“Skippers of recreational vessels using the waterway outside of the exclusion times are reminded the blood alcohol limit on the water is the same as on the road – 0.05 – and applies to observers and skiers alike.”

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