Oregon Boat Safety for 2016

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Yes, I’m a lawyer, but in a former life I was a YMCA boating instructor, camp counselor and life guard. In that context safety was front and center. Sadly, I have seen safety take a back to recreation as children become young adults… until tragedy strikes.

Memorial Day weekend will be here in a few days so NOW is a great time to remind all my friends and clients that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Keep in mind that most safety rules were enacted in response to serious injury. Here I focus on Oregon boating safety rules, precautions and insurance.

1. Oregon Boating Safety Certificate
All persons operating a boat of 10 horsepower or more must take an Oregon approved boating safety course and carry a boating safety card. It only costs $10! The course is $25.50. Here is the link to get a boating safety card which does not expire. (Note a boating safety card is not a boating license). See ORS 830.086.
https://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/boater-info/Pages/Motorized-Mandatory-Education.aspx

2. Drinking and Boating
Operating a boat while under the influence of any intoxicant is illegal. ORS 30.325. Also the owner of a boat is responsible for negligent operation of a boat just as an owner of an auto would be. ORS 30.330. Reckless operation of a boat is aslo prohibited in Oregon waters. ORS 30.315.

3. Boating Accidents
Oregon law requires boaters to promptly respond and report boating accidents. ORS 830.475. Also promptly report any boating accident to your boat insurer. If an accident happens, you must provide your NAME, ADDRESS, and BOAT ID # to all occupants of THE OTHER BOAT. In Oregon you must AID THOSE HURT by towing their boat to shore if needed and helping the injured get medical help. ORS 830.475. You must file a boat accident report for all boating accidents involving injury or property damage over $2k.

4. Boating Insurance
Your auto insurance probably only covers you when you are tailoring your boat. Purchase boating insurance to cover damage to your own boat as well as damage caused by your liability to others. Different types of boats (Ex. Wave runner v. sailboat v. motor boat). It’s best to purchase boating insurance from an agent who is knowledgeable about your boat and your exposures. Boating insurance, unlike Oregon auto insurance, does not require no fault medical insurance. Discuss the need for medical

Swimming Pools: More dangerous than Guns

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In the best-selling book Freakenomics, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner challenge “conventional wisdom” with statistics. In one example, Levitt and Dubner consider the parents of an eight year old girl, Molly. Molly’s parents prohibit her from visiting her friend Amy because Amy’s parents keep a gun at home. So instead, Molly spends time playing in the swimming pool at the home of her other friend, Imani.

Molly’s parents are pleased with themselves for making such a smart choice. According to “conventional wisdom” children should not play where guns are around. The authors point out that according to the data, what seems smart may not be. In any given year one child drowns for every 11,000 residential pools in the U.S. Read that again. 1 drowning for every 11k pools. That is a lot, roughly 550 children under age 10 per year!

By contrast, the likelihood of death by gun is a relatively tiny 1 in over on million. Molly is far more likely to die from an accident at Imani’s home than from gun play at Amy’s.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not an advertisement for guns. Instead, the purpose of this post is to alert parents of just how dangerous unsupervised swimming is, especially for young children.
Keep a cool head while it’s hot outside. Make sure your young child is properly supervised while swimming.

Resolving Washington State Personal Injury & Insurance Claims

 

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Richard Rizk is now admitted to the Washington State Bar. He is also licensed to practice law in Oregon, Federal Court (9th Circuit), Oregon District Court and Illinois (currently inactive). Mr. Rizk became familiar with Washington insurance laws as a high level claims analyst in the 1990s working to resolve environmental insurance coverage disputes involving insureds including Cadet Manufacturing, Port of Vancouver and Dairygold.

 

Oregon Statute of Limitations: Hiding Defendant Stops Clock

 

You were injured in an Oregon accident. You are concerned that the person at fault might never be found. You are aware that the Oregon “statute of limitations” generally requires that a lawsuit be filed within 2 years of injury. Are you out of luck if you are unable to locate and serve the defendant within 2 years?

On May 13, 2015 the Oregon Court of Appeals answered no. In Knappenberger v. Davis –Stanton 271 Or App 17 (2015) the Oregon Court of Appeals clarified that ORS 12.150 tolls (freezes) the statute of limitation during the period of time during which a prospective defendant cannot be served in Oregon or is otherwise concealing his/her whereabouts.

The Knappenberger Court rejected defendant’s argument that ORS 12.150 unconstitutionally restricts interstate travel in violation of the commerce clause. Although Knappenberger gives claimants more time to serve a defendant, if it has been a while since your injury or accident, don’t take a chance. Contact a qualified lawyer to help as soon as possible.

Boat Capsizes Crossing Dangerous Columbia River Bar

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For centuries, mariners have battled the Columbia River Bar, naming it the “Graveyard of the Pacific.”  This June the treacherous Bar, where the Columbia River’s mighty current collides with Pacific Ocean swells, claimed another fatality.

On June 20, 2014 at 9:20 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard reported that a boat had capsized while attempting to cross the Columbia River Bar near Astoria. Six people onboard, all wearing life jackets, went into the water. One man, found tangled in fishing gear and other debris that had come from the capsized boat, did not survive. The other five were rescued uninjured.

At about 8:30 a.m. that morning the Coast Guard had told boaters of worsening conditions, saying officers would be closing the Columbia River Bar within hours. The 25-foot aluminum boat began to head back, attempting to navigate between the mouth of the Columbia and the ocean, about ten to fifteen minutes away from the shore. Suddenly, a swell came underneath the boat, the waters crashed into the windshield, and the boat immediately went down.

Coast Guard Advises Boaters to Heed Warnings

The Coast Guard maintains a recorded bar and weather forecast radio report at each station. The recording is updated every 3 hours during daylight or when weather conditions change. Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment can also be contacted via VHF-FM Channel 16 for conditions of the bar.

New “Restricted Bar” warning signs and lights have been installed at Ilwaco, Chinook, Hammond, and Skipanon boat ramps. If these lights are on, there is some type of safety restriction for the Columbia River Bar.

Bar weather reports can be found in the following ways:

  • Columbia River bar report – (360) 642-3565
  • Grays Harbor bar report – (360) 268-0622
  • Tillamook Bay bar report – (503) 322-3234
  • Radio Stations KVAS (1230 kHz) and KAST (1370 kHz) give bar condition reports 15 minutes before and after the hour.

You can go to http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/marine/bars_mover.php to see bar camera images and latest bar observations and Coast Guard restrictions.

 

By |July 21st, 2014|Boating Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death|