Each year there are hundreds of reportable boating accidents in Oregon. The most common accidents are collisions with objects and falling overboard. Most people involved in fatal boating accidents were not wearing life jackets. Alcohol consumption is often a factor. 

Oregon law requires that all children 12 and under wear a life jacket when boating in open water.

Safety Tips – for kids and adults

  • Always have a properly fitted life jacket (also known as a personal flotation device – PFD) on board for each passenger. (See Life Jacket Safety Chart.) Make sure that anyone who cannot swim wears a life jacket.
  • Never mix boating and alcohol.
  • Realize that accidents occur from falling off boats as well as from unsafe driving.
  • If you or your child falls into the water, leave clothing on since it conserves heat.
  • Have emergency distress signals, both visual and broadcast, on board.
  • Know the boat’s capacity, and take care not to overload it.
  • Keep a constant eye on the weather.
  • Know your water terrain.
  • Take a boating safety course.
  • When approaching a dock or stationary object, approach very slowly.