Portland Skateboarder Mourned

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Sep 17, 2021 in Personal Injury

On July 10, Jose Marcelino “Marcel” Castillo-Pacheco and his family were camping at Oxbow Park near Springdale when the 33-year-old drowned. Castillo-Pacheco was a bright soul who actively enjoyed skateboarding around the area and in competitions. The skateboarding community remembers him as a fearless, free-spirited individual who actively uplifted those around him. A portrait of Castillo-Pacheco smiling with “RIP Marcel” appeared on one of Burnside SkatePark walls, where Castillo-Pacheco often spent his time.

Sadly, Castillo-Pacheco is not the only one who lost his life due to drowning. Research conducted by the Oregon State Marine Board shows that there were 27 boating fatalities in 2020. These statistics show that 2020 has the most boating fatalities since 1979 –– almost double the average in the last three years. 

The Increasing Rates of Drowning in Oregon Raise Concern

When the summer months come, and people are looking to cool off, swimming in lakes and the ocean are a popular pastime. Most individuals who know how to swim are confident in their abilities. However, even experienced swimmers are at risk of drowning. While the Oregon State Marine Board is still conducting research on the statistics for drownings in 2020, public safety officials have several reports across the state discussing local drownings.

During the 2020 pandemic, many families ventured outside and on the water for some COVID-19 safe activities. The increase in boating and water sports is a contributing factor for accidents that lead to drowning. With 2020 creating a new record for fatalities due to boating accidents, the rates of drowning are alarming. 

5 Causes of Drownings in Portland, Oregon

Many Portland residents express concern for the growing number of drowning-related deaths in the area. While activities in the water are not inherently dangerous to experienced swimmers, some actions can increase the risk of drowning, including: 

  • Boating without a lifejacket: Many times, families are out having fun in the water, and they end up having an accident. For those with life jackets, they’ll be able to wait for assistance. Unfortunately, those without safety vests often get tired or try to save others and end up losing their life before help can arrive.  
  • Swimming alone: Anything can happen, and if you’re alone when an emergency occurs, no one will be there to help you or call for medical assistance. Whether an unexpected current catches you off guard or you suddenly experience fatigue, having another person there to assist you might save your life. 
  • Risks of natural bodies of water: While lakes, rivers, and the ocean are beautiful and fun to swim in, the movement of the water changes the bottom of the floor and can catch swimmers off guard. You may be walking in water that is four feet deep, and suddenly there’s a drop of 10 feet. A ridge can easily cause people to suffer injuries and can lead to drownings. 
  • Overconfidence: Experienced swimmers are more likely to take risks in the water and are overconfident in their ability to swim long distances. When people go cycling and feel too tired, they can stop. Swimming is entirely different and doesn’t allow you to stop. 
  • Intoxication: Many people decide to drink while boating or swimming. Not only does alcohol cause people to make unsafe decisions, but it also limits an individual’s mobility. Those intoxicated while swimming have a higher chance of drowning than those sober.  

Swimming is a regular activity for many people in Portland, and following the rules and having a lifejacket near you can significantly reduce the likelihood of drowning. Even on hot summer days, it’s crucial to consider the dangers that can present themselves to you in a body of water. 

Contact an Experienced Portland Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Our condolences go out to families of those lost from drowning and boating accidents. While there are no words that can comfort the loss of someone so important, Rizk Law lawyers want to help families in need recover compensation for injuries and wrongful death caused by someone else’s negligent actions. We make it our top priority to offer dependable and honest legal advice to our clients. 

Call (503) 245-5677 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.