Oregon man dies in tragic boating accident near Pendleton

An Oregon man who died in a tragic boating accident over the weekend has been identified.

Just after 6 p.m. Friday, the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a boating accident at McKay Reservoir, just south of Pendleton, Oregon, about 75 miles south of the Tri-Cities.

Investigators found eight people were in a boat that was rolling on the reservoir, according to a news release from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office.

Benjamin Ryan Camden, 41, of Milton-Freewater, was trying to get back into the boat when the ladder broke.

He couldn’t pull himself into the boat and decided to hold on to a handrail as the boat operator walked to a boat launch on the shore.

The sheriff’s office said that as the driver slowly rolled toward the ramp, Camden lost his grip.

He slid under the boat and was caught by the propeller, leaving him seriously injured in the left leg.

He was loaded into a vehicle and met by an ambulance at the reservoir entrance. Camden was taken to St. Anthony’s in Pendleton, where he died of his injuries.

This story was originally published August 2, 2022 11:57 a.m.

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Cory is an award-winning investigative journalist. He joined the Tri-City Herald in December 2021 as an editor/reporter covering housing and development. His past work can be found in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and other Texas newspapers. He was a member of the Education Writers Association 2019-2020 and has been featured on The Murder Tapes, Grave Mysteries and Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen.

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