Accidents and Fatalities in Oregon
Boaters need to make sure they have the necessary skill and required equipment for the
waters they enter. While accidents happen for a variety of reasons, 85-90%
or more of fatalities could be prevented if the victims wore life jackets. The annual statistics illustrate this point very well.
Marine Board tracks all boating related fatalities, motorized
and manually powered.
Marine Board Boating Accident Reports are, by statute, confidential and
not open to public or media review. Please note: recreational boating
statistics do not include those deaths which happen across state lines, are
commercial in nature (charter, guide, industrial, etc.) or occur after a person
has purposefully left the vessel (to swim, etc.). The Marine Board has adopted Federal law
for Accident Reporting as it pertains to documenting accident
and fatality statistics.
The largest percentage of accidents and fatalities occur on rivers or in the Pacific Ocean's surf zone.
Special skill is required of boaters to safely navigate the inherent dangers in rivers and
crossing coastal bars. Go with a registered outfitter/guide and consider joining a rafting club to gain more experience and skills to run a river. For the ocean, go with a registered guide or charter. Plan trips with experienced boaters and get engaged with online or local clubs to learn local information. Take a boating safety course
or specialized course from the ACA or other paddling association. Download the free publications available through the Marine Board's library.
Educated boaters are safer boaters.