A man is dead after a boat towing two water skiers crashed during a high-speed race on the Murray River on the NSW-Victorian border.
The NSW driver of the ski-race boat, David Morabito, 50, died at the scene after efforts by paramedics to try and revive him, NSW police say.
The accident happened on Sunday afternoon at the annual Southern 80 water skiing event in Echuca and Moama in the state’s north.
Event organisers say Mr Morabito was pulled from the water unconscious near Norris Bend where paramedics tried to revive him.
A woman in her 20s, who was also on the boat, suffered a neck injury and was airlifted to Bendigo Base Hospital, where she remains in a stable condition
The two skiers being towed were uninjured.
Ski Racing Australia chairman Paul Robertson says the incident has saddened the sport and the organisation will provide all possible support to those involved.
The group said Mr Morabito was “a highly respected driver who had been involved with ski racing for many years”.
The accident was one of three serious crashes at the event on Sunday.
A man in his 40s suffered rib and shoulder injuries and another man in his 20s had serious head and spinal injuries, an ambulance spokesman said.
Both were taken to Echuca Hospital by road.
Another man also suffered serious head and spinal injuries and was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital after he reportedly hit a buoy.
Ski Racing Australia suspended the event following the accidents and has decided not to have the award presentations as a mark of respect.
The Southern 80 is a high-speed race in which two skiers are towed through a course at speeds of over 200 km/h.