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Old 06-10-2014   #61
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
This is another thread that represents the best and worst of the Buzz. I'll let the group list the reasons.

All I am going to add is that every time you float past a kid on the river without wearing your PFD you set an example that hurts the river community and potentially puts some young person at more risk when they try to emulate "the cool guy"

Be safe out there to all the boaters on the buzz, My group will be the ones wearing our PFD's, even on the flat water.

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Old 06-10-2014   #62
Somewhere in, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 64
The OP's question was about Oregon life jacket laws and was looking for clarification on the law since he was living out of state and going to floating in OR. Looking for first hand experience from folks on the buzz. Almost immediately turns into a shit show about who's safe on the water and who will boat with who. What a joke. Who are any of us to judge anyone. Wait....are there any sworn in judges on this board?

While we may not all share the same views on the pdf/safety subject, we're still alive to argue about it. Weird.

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Old 06-11-2014   #63
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,660
Originally Posted by Soup76 View Post
While we may not all share the same views on the pdf/safety subject, we're still alive to argue about it. Weird.
^^my favorite comment of the thread!, Thank you!^^

Originally Posted by oarboatman View Post
All I am going to add is that every time you float past a kid on the river without wearing your PFD you set an example that hurts the river community and potentially puts some young person at more risk when they try to emulate "the cool guy"
According to your prevailing theory I should actually be illustrating your point for you and the kids that see me won't think "that guy looks cool", they'll think "what an idiot, he must have a death wish".

Come to Montana sometime, float down any non-white water float and then tell me I'm setting a bad example. The river community here seems to agree that it is perfectly safe to not wear a PFD all the time. We throw caution to the wind and like to live dangerously apparently. I litterally can't remember the last time I saw someone wearing a PFD (other than required children) on the lower madison, yellowstone, missouri... The risk exists, it's just not palpable. Relax, enjoy yourself. It's not your job to educate the world on what's right.

... and just so you know we do where them in ww, in cold weather, basically when we need to. I'm certainly not advoating never wearing one... Just to be clear.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 06-12-2014   #64
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by liftedlimo View Post
I have studied this new law in some depth and have talked to several LEOs. In Oregon you are required to carry life jackets on all multi-chambered floating devices, ie. rafts. With the new law you are required to WEAR them during class 3 or higher rapids. You are NOT REQUIRED to wear or bring them on single chamber devices, ie. tubes.

Here is the UN-OFFICIAL/Official list from the OSMB for Class 3 rapids or rivers. This is the list the LEO told me to look at that they were trained to use.
Oregon State Marine Board Mandatory Lifejacket Wear on All Class III Whitewater Rapids (and higher) -Since January 1, 2010
830.005. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:
(2) “Boat” means every description of watercraft, including a seaplane on the water and not in flight, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water, but does not include boathouses, floating homes, air mattresses, beach and water toys or single inner tubes.
I have personally seen LEO wait for a family to throw their cheap WallyWorld raft down at the Clackamas boat launch for a nice easy day float, and the LEO walks over and gives them a ticket for not having enough life jackets. The Deschutes IS NOT a class 3 river IMO, but has 1-2 class 3-3+ rapids on it. The OSMB made the ENTIRE river a class 3 to enforce the life jacket law. I found this law one time and i cant find it in statue right now, but I remember it being in there.

As far as bringing an extra throwable for 16' and over rafts:
OAR 250-010-0154 (life jacket laws) State:
(5) Canoes and kayaks 16 feet in length and over are exempted from the requirements for carriage of the additional Type IV PFD.
So no you do not have to have an additional type 4 throwable in your 16' raft kayak etc.
I've also looked into this and I agree. The Oregon law states wear PFDs while floating through Class III and greater rapids, but doesn't require them in less than class III. All this law did was define by law what most people consider common sense. It's a reasonable law, kind of like Oregon's seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws.

Air mattresses and inner tubes are not considered "boats" used for navigation and you can technically float a river without a PFD on them. But I bet if they catch you on a Class III on an inner tube i'd bet they'll bust you for this new 2010 law. Funny thing is according to the law, if you strap 2 inner tubes together you're now considered a multi chamber "boat" and now subject to PFD carry laws.

I've also seen someone get ticketed on a Wally World raft for not carrying enough PFDs. Similar to what you witness on the Clack, I saw on an Oregon lake. It was a lack if life jacket issue, not a rapid rating.

I've floated in front of the river ranger on the flat stretch of the Deschutes (Rainbow to Trout Cr) and not hassled at all. I've never heard of the entire Deschutes requiring full time PFDs, so if you can find that I'd love to see it.

The one interpretation of the law that you've found that I can't find is the requirement for throw floatie cushions for 16' and above. I see the exceptions for kayaks and canoes, but I don't see it for 16' rafts. But I also rock a 14 footer so it ain't my problem.

Disclaimer: except for the flattest of flat water, myself and anyone on my raft always wear PFDs. And always with the kids.

If we want to talk safety don't even get me started on CO motorcyclist cruising at 80 without helmets. LOL

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