Stay safe on the Deschutes River this summer

Hazard map of the Deschutes River

Click on the colored circles in this interactive map to see the class of rapid or the hazard each represents.

View Navigating the Deschutes River safely in a larger map

Safety first: Avoid floating alone, wear a life vest and carry a whistle.

State law requires a life vest for each person aboard a boat. Children 12 and younger must wear them. Life vests aren't required on air mattresses. While a life vest is not required on a single inner tube, if you tie them together, you'll need life vests.

Any passenger on an inflatable boat must have a life vest.

Life vests aren't required on air mattresses.

No life vest is required on a single inner tube. However, tie them together and it is considered a watercraft, and you'll need life vests.

Use of alcohol is punishable by a $550 fine. Operating a watercraft, motorized or not, under the incluence is considered boating under the influence of intoxicants, which is the same as a DUII.

Floating safety checklist:

Weather: Check weather conditions and wear suitable clothing.

Route: Know the river's access and launch points, as well as dangers on the stretch you plan to float.

Plan: Tell someone where you're going, who you'll be with, when you expect to return and whom to call if you don't. Stick to your plan.

Pack: Take a basic first-aid kit, protective clothing, sunscreen, drinking water, a cellphone in a waterproof bag and spare paddles.

Law: Follow applicable laws for flotation devices, alcohol, boating and river use.

Prepare: Make sure your safety equipment works and that you're properly trained and in shape for the activity and for the conditions you'll face. Learn water-rescue techniques for yourself and for others. Learn CPR and about how hypothermia can affect you.

Take a group: Never float or boat alone, but don't take so many people that they can't be comfortably controlled. Designate a group leader. Once you get to the river, stay together.

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