- Associated Press - Friday, May 15, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Seven people were killed during recreational boating accidents in Oregon last year, the lowest number in the state since 1990.

Six of the fatal accidents took place on a river and just one was on a lake, while four involved motorized boats and three were related to non-motorized craft like kayaks or canoes, the Salem Statesman-Journal (https://stjr.nl/1QPGOyp) reported.

The numbers come from data released by the Oregon State Marine Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.

A number of factors likely contributed to the falling number of fatalities in Oregon, marine board spokeswoman Ashley Massey said. The number of registered motorboats has dropped to 166,664 from over 197,000 in 1997, which likely makes a difference.

Massey also pointed to a mandatory education requirement that since 2009 has required everyone operating a motorboat with an engine over 10 horsepower to take a safety course.

“We’ve seen a nice little decrease in accidents in that time period,” Massey said. “What we’re seeing is that education is working, and we want that to continue.”

While the number of fatal accidents in motorized boats has been steadily dropping, Massey pointed out that the number of people killed in accidents involving non-motorized craft has been rising. Since 2009, there have been 36 fatalities in non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks and 35 in motorized boats. Many of those accidents occur on the river.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com


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