Purchase an industrial infrared photoelectric system. Check the ratings on the photo eyes and be sure they have an IP67 rating or better. Also check their range to be sure it is more than adequate to cover the entire distance across the river. If the photo eyes need to operate underwater, choose the most powerful combination of transmitter and receiver available.
Ask the manufacturer or distributor of photoelectric sensors for a demo set to test in your ride application before you buy. Try several sets from different companies side-by-side to determine which ones work the best. Follow a strict maintenance schedule and replace the photo eyes at least once a year. Your visitors will appreciate the extended ride uptime that quality sensors provide.
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