One dead, four injured at Southern 80 | video

David Morabito. Photo: Ski Racing Australia
David Morabito. Photo: Ski Racing Australia

UPDATE 7pm:  A father of two has been killed and four others injured in the Southern 80 water-ski race on the Murray River.

The annual river race in Echuca-Moama was suspended on Sunday after multiple injuries.

The most serious incident killed 50-year-old David Morabito, from Grose Vale in New South Wales.

Ski Racing Australia, the regulatory body for ski racing in Australia, confirmed the death in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Morabito was a highly respected driver who had been involved with ski racing for many years.

He is survived by his wife, Katrina, son Sean and daughter Alicia.

Ski Racing Australia said the incident occurred about 1.20pm during the main race of Sunday's Southern 80.

A man has died at this year's Southern 80. Photo: Luke Hemer/Riverine Herald

A man has died at this year's Southern 80. Photo: Luke Hemer/Riverine Herald

"It is understood that Mr Morabito, the driver of 2 Ironic, was pulled from the water unconscious near Norris Bend," the statement said.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Mr Morabito but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ski Racing Australia chairman Paul Robertson offered condolences to Mr Morabito's family and said the incident had saddened the sport. 

EARLIER: A death and a spate of injuries has once again marred the Southern 80 water-ski race on the Murray River.

The annual river race in Echuca and Moama had to be suspended on Sunday after multiple injuries.

It is understood one of the injured later died, but NSW Police could not immediately confirm this information.

A fifth person suffered critical injuries and was being treated at the scene, he said.

A man in his 20s was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious but stable condition with head and spinal injuries.

A woman, believed to be in her 20s, was flown to Bendigo with a neck injury but was listed in a stable condition.

Two others were taken to hospital in Echuca: a man in his 40s with shoulder injuries and a man in his 20s in a serious but stable condition with head and neck injury.

Ski Racing Australia confirmed all of the incidents occurred during the afternoon racing session.

"At this stage it is too early to provide any specific details about the incidents or any of the participant's condition," the sports organisation said in a Facebook post.

"We will make further information available once it is received."

The Southern 80 race sees teams with two skiers pulled through more than 100 bends in the river. Some racers can reach speeds more than 100km/h.

The annual event has been a major tourist draw for the region, but has suffered multiple deaths in recent years.

Two people were injured when a boat flipped on the river.

In other incidents, one skier hit a buoy and another hit the water pretty hard, Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said.