Marine Law Enforcement Annual Drift School Set for the Rogue River - Media Availability (Photo)
Media Availability - June 12 at noon - Dodge Bridge County Park - 72 Rogue River Dr, Eagle Point, OR 97524 TENTATIVE: Time and location may change so please RSVP with PIO Aaron Lewis (541) 531-8203 to get updates.
(Photos from previous years)
JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. - During the week of June 12 through 16, Marine Law Enforcement officers from around the state will be learning and perfecting their drift boating skills on the Rogue River. Students will learn to swim in whitewater, study hydrodynamics, practice rescue techniques, navigate up to Class III whitewater, and operate in remote environments using drift boats, rafts, and catarafts.
“Navigating whitewater is a perishable skill and it requires constant training and practice so law enforcement can respond to emergencies quickly and confidently,” says Eddie Persichetti, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Oregon State Marine Board. “Each day the students drift different sections of the Rogue River. As the week progresses, instructors build on the skills from the day before and then move on to more advanced skills with more difficult rapids throughout the week.”
Persichetti adds, “The key component to this training is the attention on reading white water. It’s incredibly important to see the whole run ahead vs. the next ten feet in front of the boat. This year, rivers statewide are exceptionally swift, high, and cold. Students will first learn self-rescue techniques in the water and then dewatering drills, all while improving their drift boat skills throughout the course.”
The training and experience the officers gain during drift boat school provides a strong foundation for when they return to their local waterways for patrol. “The goal is to develop the skill sets and confidence in officers because safety of everyone recreating on the water is our top priority,” Persichetti explains. “Oregon’s waterways are becoming more crowded. For those recreating on Oregon’s waterways, a simple task such as wearing a life jacket can mean the difference between a tragedy and going home that day. Please be safe, vigilant and wear it!”
Recreational boaters can expect to see law enforcement officers drifting on the Upper and Middle Rogue from Lost Creek Reservoir to Argo Canyon from June 12th through June 16th.
For more information about boating laws and regulations, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.