top of page


Paddler and Ground Crew Safety


Safety Director: 0400 589 095

Safety Ashore (for land-based safety issues):  TBA

Safety Afloat (for on-water safety issues):  TBA

Event Manager: 0413 005 787

Safety procedures


In case of severe weather conditions or an emergency out of our control the following guidelines have been developed, from the teams at Phase Zero and Sydney Harbour Kayaks.

Known in the details below as Event management (EM).


Extreme Weather Policy

During the Massive Murray Paddle, extreme weather conditions can occur including flooding and fire danger. The EM takes the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the event.

In the event of extreme weather conditions, a day or part there of paddling may be cancelled to ensure the health and safety of all event participants, including Volunteers, Support Crews, Spectators and Paddlers.


River Conditions

Conditions vary from day to day depending on water levels and weather. In general, the water is fairly fast flowing and will chop up quite severely in strong wind. Eddies are common, and are often caused by submerged obstacles such as tree branches.

It is important to be alert at all times and look for hazards that may lie just below the surface. Accordingly, practising capsize drills, and knowing how to get yourself and your craft safely to shore if you fall out, should form an integral part of your preparation.


Water Safety

Paddlers often fall out of their crafts and into the water during the race. All paddlers need to understand how to look after themselves safely if they do fall in the river.

Please have a look through the water safety information provided Transport for NSW and Paddle Safe Paddle Smart.


Safety Standards

  • All paddlers must be able to swim at least 50 metres. Non-confident swimmers are to wear a life jacket or buoyancy vest.

  • All craft must be in a state of positive buoyancy. 

  • Floatation devices must be fixed in boats that aren’t self-buoyant.

  • All crews must present themselves, boat and equipment to be scrutinised.

  • All entrants must observe any additional safety procedures the Chief Safety Officer or an event official introduces during the event.

  • All craft and crews shall enter the water via the official gate. For larger dimensioned craft that are unable to pass through the gate the crew shall contact the Race Director for instructions on how to enter the water.

  • Water Patrol monitors the progress of paddlers during the event using safety boats.

  • First aid posts are established along the river and at the official campsite.

  • Hydration systems should be fixed to the boat or person.


To fall in-line with the new lifejacket regulations for NSW and to make the event safer, the MMP will be adopting a new Lifejacket policy.


This means that your lifejacket is no longer allowed to be just attached to your craft; it MUST be worn when you are on the water.


All paddlers must wear an appropriate fastened lifejacket that complies with the Marine Safety Regulation 2016 (under the Marine Safety Act 1998) at all times whilst on the water during the Massive Murray Paddle.

Lifejackets which conform are those which meet performance Level 50S of Australian Standard “AS 4758 Lifejackets” that complies with the requirements set out in Schedule 7 for that lifejacket.”


Schedule 7 states

Lifejacket Level 50S or greater is a lifejacket that meets: 

performance standard 50S, 50, 100, 150 or 275 of Australian Standard AS 4758 , or

Any standard or specification approved by the Roads & Maritime Authority. 

Below, you can look at a series of key safety videos with pointers on how to stay safe when you’re out on the water paddling.

Wear a lifejacket

Be safe be seen

Know the rules

The right equipment

Plan your trip

Know your limits

bottom of page