Accident Database

Report ID# 106427

  • PFD Fell Off
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

Oregon News

Washougal man, 68, drowns after Deschutes River rafting accident

Posted Aug 07, 2020

Kate Williams | The Portland Oregonian/OregonLive

A 68-year-old man died in a rafting accident Thursday on the Deschutes RIver after the boat he was in capsized in rapids, officials said. Michael Marquand was on the second day of a two-day trip down the river with his wife, 17-year-old grandson and a family friend, said Frank Groff, Marquand’s son-in-law.

When the group got near Boxcar Rapids, the boat struck a rock and flipped, Groff said. The groups spent nearly 30 minutes trying to right the raft as other boats went past on the river. When the boat was finally flipped back over, the group saw Marquand floating away. They pursued him but were unable to catch up, Groff said. By the time they did, he had drowned.

Groff said Marquand had four decades of experience rafting on the Deschutes and had never capsized previously. Marquand had recently retired and “was just starting to enjoy it,” Groff said. “He loved to raft,” Groff added. “It was a family thing.”

Chief Deputy Scott Williams of the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said Marquand was wearing a life jacket but it may not have been properly fastened. “If you’re going to be out on the river, you must wear a (personal floatation device) and wear it correctly,” Williams said.

Groff said he hoped Marquand’s death might spur other people to take precautions on the water. “People should be aware of the dangerous inherent in river rafting, he said, even someone that experienced.”

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