Coast Guard to begin Buoy 10 operations near Columbia River entrance Friday

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard NewsASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard will begin its annual Buoy 10 operations at boat launches, marinas and on the water near the entrance to the Columbia River, Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River active, reserve and auxiliary members will be at marinas and boat launches in Ilwaco and Chinook, Wash., and Astoria, Warrenton and Hammond, Ore., as well as out on the water Aug. 10 – Sept. 3, to educate boaters about the dangers of the area, emergency and radio procedures, PFDs and safe boating practices.

There will be an increased law enforcement presence on the river as the Coast Guard teams up with the Clatsop County, Ore., Sheriff’s Department, Oregon State Police and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Buoy 10 is a popular fishing area near the Columbia River entrance where large numbers of salmon gather annually, attracting high volumes of fishermen.

Seven people died in 2001 during the 45-day Buoy 10 recreational salmon fishery on the Columbia River. These deaths were mostly attributed to the unsafe boating practices of inexperienced boaters and poor knowledge of the area and emergency procedures.

Coast Guard Buoy 10 operations have successfully educated boaters, providing them with information on how to prevent and survive boating accidents. The number of deaths has been significantly reduced in recent years, with no Buoy 10 related deaths since 2003.

Coast Guard Auxiliary members have been especially critical to the success of Buoy 10 operations volunteering thousands of hours each year in support of the Coast Guard.

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