In an effort to keep competitors safe during the highly anticipated Gumi Race, emergency services have joined forces.
Concerns regarding the water’s temperature, fast-flowing current and a number of treacherous submerged objects have prompted fresh calls for caution as contenders float down the Murrumbidgee River.
In an unprecedented move, nine NSW SES boats will patrol the waters as more than 100 participants flood the course with their hand-constructed vessels on Sunday.
Three additional boats from Roads and Maritime and the Volunteer Rescue Squad will also be monitoring the race, while other emergency service members keep watch from the banks.
NSW SES volunteer Dale Hersee said teams had spent hours checking the height of the river and identifying hazards across the week.
He said in the deeper areas the water temperature was less than 18 degrees and visible tree limbs would also presented a threat to entrants.
“There’s lots of foreign objects underwater,” Mr Hersee said.
“It’s 30 metres deep in some parts and quite cold.”
A volunteer for more than 10 years, Mr Hersee said he was confident the event would be well managed.
“Just remember to steer clear of hazards,” he said.
“Have fun but be safe.”