Clatsop County Senior Marine Patrol Deputy Willie Nyberg has again won national recognition for his work in boating safety. Nyberg was named the 2003 Boating Enforcement Officer of the Year for Oregon by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Nyberg was presented with the award last week at the county commissioners' meeting by Bill Rydblom, law enforcement division administrator for the Oregon Marine Board.

"Willie is near and dear to our hearts on the staff of the marine board," Rydblom said.

Nyberg was credited for helping shape a two-state, multi-agency effort to reduce boating mishaps and fatalities by raising public awareness of the risk of coastal boating, increasing enforcement of marine safety laws and better coordinating their manpower and equipment. The marine board hailed Nyberg for his pursuit of intoxicated boaters, investigation of marine theft cases and close work with the U.S. Coast Guard and other partners to improve boater safety at the mouth of the Columbia River, as well as his efforts as a member of the marine board's instructor core.

Nyberg was honored by the state marine board earlier this year as its Maritime Officer of the Year. The Coast Guard also recognized Nyberg with a meritorious team commendation, the first given to a civilian law enforcement officer.

Sheriff John Raichl told the commissioners that the county has more fatalities in the 96 miles of ocean and 100 miles of waterways in the county than on its roads and highways.

"Our people do their best to keep the waterways safe," he said.

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