Skier hurt in river drama

January 02, 2018

A 32 year-old Victorian man suffered what witness reports describe as a near amputation of an arm while skiing at Picnic Point near Mathoura on Thursday night.

Deniliquin Ambulance NSW Chief Inspector of service delivery, southern sector Bruce Purves confirmed the man suffered a ‘‘significant compound injury’’ but was unable to provide further details.

The man is believed to have severely cut his arm on the ski tow rope after a fall, while being towed behind a jet ski about 6.30pm.

‘‘It seems the skier hit a clump of debris and has suffered a severe shoulder injury,’’ Insp Purves said.

‘‘Two ambulance crews from Deniliquin responded and were on scene just after 7pm, and the skier was transported in a serious but stable condition.

‘‘They administered the necessary spinal injury precautions.

‘‘The ambulances met the Air Ambulance helicopter at Rochester about 8.30pm.’’

Insp Purves was unable to confirm which hospital the man was sent to, or where in Victoria he lives.

Speculation the man was practising ahead of competing in the Southern 80 Ski Race at Echuca in February cannot be confirmed.

In light of the incident, Deniliquin Rescue Squad Captain Chris Holloway said it was important to remind people of the dangers associated with on-water activities.

Deniliquin Rescue Squad is an inland waterways rescue unit, with some members who are accredited swift water technicians.

Mr Holloway said thankfully their skills have not been required in the local area in the last 12 months.

He said with caution and planning, more serious incidents can hopefully be avoided this summer.

‘‘Anyone travelling to the area needs to be aware of their surroundings; our rivers can have a lot of submerged logs and snags that can cause harm if not avoided.

‘‘I encourage anyone visiting the area to try and talk to a local, who may be able to point out troublesome spots.

‘‘We encourage anyone on the river — visitors or locals — to be diligent and to be safe.’’

Anyone requiring medical or rescue assistance on the Edward River at Deniliquin is encouraged to call 000.

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