Skip to main content

Incidents and Fatalities

Life Jacket Advertisement

Recreational Boating Incident 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.  
The Marine Board tracks all boating-related fatalities (paddle, oar, sail, and motor). 
Marine Board Boating Incident 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.  
Incident (accident) and fatality statistics 1990-2019 
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.  

To see if a charter, outfitter or guide is registered with the Marine Board, visit our Boat Oregon Store and click on "Online Services" in the upper right- hand corner of the page and click on "Guides and Charters Lists" to search.  

Plan trips with experienced boaters and take advantage of online or local boating clubs to learn local information.  
Take a boating safety course or specialized course from the ACA or other paddling association. 
Download free publications available through the Marine Board's library. 

Educated boaters are safer.  

Life jacket advertisement 

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how