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News Releases
Operation Dry Water 2017
Operation Dry Water 2017
Operation Dry Water -It's all about Impairment (Photo) - 06/26/17

The Marine Board and law enforcement from 32 counties and the Oregon State Police will be participating in Operation Dry Water, during the weekend of June 30- July 2, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence of intoxicants (BUII).

Last year saw a spike in boating accidents, from 62 in 2015 to 82 in 2016, many involving alcohol and marijuana use. "To help marine officers prepare, we train them to recognize drug and alcohol impairment and arrest those operators --including those with paddles," says Randy Henry, Boating Safety Manager for the Marine Board.

Boating under the influence of intoxicants means prescription drugs, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, or any other substance that impairs a person's ability to make sound judgments and have the ability to safely operate a boat. The effects of drugs and alcohol are also amplified on the water with the combination of sun, glare, wind, waves and other motion.

Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face serious penalties. In Oregon, the consequences of being convicted of BUII include the possibility of jail time, $6,250 in fines and loss of boating privileges. Marine officers can arrest boaters on observed impairment and can legally obtain blood, breath or urine if a boater fails field sobriety testing. So far this year, twelve people have been arrested for BUII and were operating on the Willamette River in Benton County, Upper Klamath Lake, Lake of the Woods, Crescent and Odell Lakes, Clackamas River, and Foster and Detroit Reservoirs.

"Overall, recreational boating is very safe if boaters wear life jackets, boat sober, and keep a sharp lookout by looking at what's in front of them and what's going on around them. If boaters followed these guidelines, accidents would be extremely rare. So far this year, the pattern for accidents includes impairment, distracted operation and no life jacket," Henry warns. Henry goes on to say, "The public is our ally in safe boating. If you see an impaired operator or someone who is operating in a way that threatens others' safety, call 911 and report it. That's how we can work together to save lives."

For more information about Operation Dry Water, visit www.operationdrywater.org or the Marine Board's Boating Safety Program at www.boatoregon.com.

Attached Media Files: Operation Dry Water 2017
Marine Board Hosting Wake Enhancing Device Stakeholder Meeting June 20 in Newberg - 06/13/17

In September 2016, the Oregon State Marine Board received a petition requesting a rule amendment to OAR 250-020-0385 Boat Operations in Yamhill and Marion Counties to extend the existing deadline for wake enhancement devices (WED) upstream 1.5 miles on the Willamette River. Staff recommended denying this rulemaking and sought direction from the Board. The initial WED rule was adopted in 2008.

At the Marine Board's January 2017 meeting, the five-member Board instructed staff to convene a stakeholders group to revisit the rule, OAR 250-020-0385, with respect to WED boat operations in the Newberg Pool area.

A stakeholder meeting is being held in Newberg on June 20, 2017, at the Newberg Public Library, 503 E. Hancock Street, Newberg, Oregon, at 6:00 pm. The stakeholder group will review the current rule language and draft consensus rule language that will address the concerns of water users and property owners. No rulemaking is being proposed at this time.

Stakeholders include riverfront homeowners, boaters, industry, Marine Patrol and the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation.

Members of the public are invited to attend and observe the stakeholder proceedings. No public comment will be accepted.

For more information about Marine Board rulemaking or public notices, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/info/Pages/Agency%20Info%20Home.aspx.


Instructor and student learning how to read the river while operating a drift boat.
Instructor and student learning how to read the river while operating a drift boat.
Law Enforcement Drift Boat Training Set for the Rogue (Photo) - 06/05/17

During the week of June 12-16, Marine Law Enforcement personnel from around the state will be learning and perfecting their navigation skills on the Rogue River. Students will learn to swim in whitewater, practice rescue techniques, navigate class III whitewater, and operate in remote environments from drift boats, rafts and catarafts.

Running whitewater takes training and practice, so law enforcement can respond to emergencies quickly and confidently. "This training is designed so the students become proficient and confident running the river," says Dale Flowers, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Marine Board. Each day the students drift various river sections, beginning with Class I rapids. "For example, day one we focus the students' attention on lifting their vision down river to see the whole run vs. the next ten feet in front of the boat," says Flowers. Day two, instructors build on the skills from the day before and then tackle a more difficult rapid (Class II). It's easy to see how people get into trouble by looking directly in front of them and ultimately row into a hazardous situation," Flowers explains.

The training also includes learning the fundamentals of "reading the river" and boat maneuvering. "Everything is hands-on. Students and instructors need to demonstrate physical skills and communicate really well with each other to make the learning productive while maintaining safety," Flowers adds.

The skills the students gain give them a strong foundation to build upon when they return to their patrol area. "We also practice scenarios where students encounter boaters and guides who are not in compliance with existing laws," Flowers adds. "When the law enforcement students leave this training, they have a new respect for safety on the river, the people who run it and playing by the rules."

For more information about boating laws and regulations, visit www.boatoregon.com.