Originally Posted by liftedlimo
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