[OSMB-News] News Release -River Drownings Escalate *Go Informed and Prepared
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Thu Jul 27 08:48:08 PDT 2006
For Immediate Release Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2006
River Drownings Escalate *Go Informed and Prepared
Drowning seems to be at the top of the bell curve in recent weeks due
to the heat wave and lack of understanding by water recreationists.
Since the first week of June, 26 people have drowned on Oregon
waterways, primarily in rivers. Some of the drownings involved
non-motorized watercraft, such as rafts, kayaks, and other types of
inflatables. This year, 11 people have died in boating accidents, seven
from non-motorized boats, and all but two were not wearing life
"The water can be so inviting," says Ashley Massey, Public Affairs
Specialist for the Oregon State Marine Board. "Especially on hot days,
but caution needs to be exercised."
The Oregon State Marine Board maintains statistics on boating
fatalities and in the last 10 years, over one-third of the fatalities
involve non-motorized watercrafts. "Many of these watercraft easily
capsize and you could find yourself in cold water and in trouble,
quickly," Massey adds.
Massey offers the following tips for anyone recreating on rivers:
* Wear a properly fitting life jacket. Make sure you understand
how the life jacket will perform in the type of water you are in and
make sure it's in good, serviceable condition.
* Know the waterway. Rivers are dynamic in nature and change
often, so scope out the river before you enter it. Know where there are
snags, rocks, deep pools and how the current flows. A little research
about the river can go a long way in preventing an accident from
* Keep a proper lookout. Because rivers are dynamic, the banks
are continually changing and so is the depth. Floating down a river can
be very relaxing but it's important to stay alert. For many, they
don't realize they're in trouble until they're literally, "going
through the rapids."
For more information about boating and water safety, check the Marine
Board website at www.boatoregon.com
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
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