The “beloved” brother’s sadness after a terrible accident
A much-loved ski athlete killed in a horrific crash has been remembered as investigations begin.
Luke Wentworth was killed less than an hour after the start of the annual event on the Murray River, near Moama, forcing organizers to abort the popular contest.
The Melbourne man’s death is believed to be the seventh linked to the decades-old skating event, and has sparked an outpouring of grief among family and friends.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I can confirm that my brother Luke was killed this morning in a skiing accident while racing,” said her sister, Bree McNair.
“Our family is absolutely devastated and trying to come to terms with the sudden and tragic loss of our beloved son, brother, brother-in-law and uncle.
“Our hearts are broken not only for our family but for the entire Jassa Ski Racing team and we ask for your privacy and understanding at this very emotional and difficult time.”
Melanie Moore said she only knew Mr Wentworth for a short time, but he had an impact on her life and the life of her son.
“We thank him for everything and will miss him very much. He was a wonderful man,” she said.
Emily Kate added: “Our hearts are so broken over the loss of Luke. Life will never be the same again. We miss you already.”
In a Facebook post, the Gasa ski racing team said they “only have sad news at the moment” and urged people to be careful and help support the team.
While Mr. Wentworth has yet to be formally identified, news of the tragic incident quickly spread throughout the water sports community.
“Such a super guy, we will sadly miss him and that smile. Our thoughts are with you all,” Troy Jeffries said on behalf of the Venom Ski Racing Team.
“A very sad day in the ski racing family today,” said Dave McCallum, of the Lab Ski Race Team. We lost a family member doing what he loved.
“My condolences to his family and God speed… Thoughts and prayers are with the family at this tragic time.”
“From our team to yours, our hearts and thoughts go out to you guys, if there is anything we can do please reach out,” Dog House Ski Racing said.
Fans of the Gasa ski racing team and the sport in general also expressed their condolences.
“I’m a wife and mother to ski racing junkies and my heart goes out to the Luke community,” Donna Robertson said.
“I pray for peace and comfort knowing he was doing something he was passionate about.”
Ben Datson added: “I don’t know you guys, but I’ve followed the team for many years.
“Rest in peace legend, may the water always be like glass when you surf the rivers above it.”
Etchua local Grant Mitchell said he would miss seeing Mr Wentworth at racing events.
“Always have a smile on your face no matter what happens. The world is better with you in it,” he said.
The annual racing event involves two skiers racing down an 80km track and 126p at speeds exceeding 100km.
Steve Shipp, president of the Moama Water Sports Club, said in a statement that the skier who was competing in the race fell and was unable to be revived.
“The race was immediately suspended and has since been cancelled,” Mr Shipp said.
“The club is cooperating with NSW Police and Transport for NSW – Maritime, in their investigations into the incident.
“As a ski racing family, we are here to support the affected family and team members as well as the wider ski racing community at this very sad time.”
Moama Chief Inspector Paul Haggett said emergency services in both Victoria and NSW responded to reports that a male skier in his early 40s had “fallen”.
While investigations were in their infancy, Mr Haggett reportedly denied claims that a swimmer in the river may have caused the accident or that low water levels were to blame.
“It affects the whole community, from the emergency services to the guy running the fish and chip shop,” he said.
“This will impact the community for months to come, long after everyone has returned home.”
Officers attached to Murray River District Police have since launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
(tags for translation) Racing Events