Milton-Freewater man dies from injuries in boating accident

(Google Maps)

PENDLETON, Ore. — A Milton-Freewater man died from injuries he suffered when he got caught by a propeller while boating in the McKay Reservoir in Umatilla County.

According to Cpt. Sterrin Ward of the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, marine deputies were dispatched to the reservoir for reports of a boating accident around 6:13 p.m. on July 29, 2022. Authorities learned that a group of eight people were aboard a boat, tubing along the McKay Reservoir to beat the heat.

One of the occupants, a 41-year-old Milton-Freewater man since identified as Benjamin Ryan Camden, was in the water attempting to climb up when the transom ladder detached.

READ: Pendleton residents on high alert after weekend rain, water let out of McKay Reservoir

UCSO officials say he was unable to pull himself up onto the board and decided to hang onto the starboard handrail while they headed back to the boat ramp.

As they slowly motored toward the ramp, the man lost his grip and went under the boat, where he was cut by the propeller several times and suffered serious injuries to his left leg. Nearby boaters helped him back to the shore and loaded him into a private vehicle to transport him to medics near the entrance to the reservoir.

Umatilla County deputies say he was transported to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, the extent of his injuries was too severe and he passed away at the hospital. No further details on this tragic accident were made public.


NEED TO VOTE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION? Find ballot drop boxes near you.