Remembering Tom Rice through Boatnik for Memorial Day 2024

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – You may have heard of the name Tom Rice from the memorial boat race hosted at Boatnik.

Tom Rice is a fallen local law enforcement officer who was a marine deputy with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

He lost his life in a helicopter accident on May 23, 2002.

Deputy Rice had been employed with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office for nine years.

“Tom Rice, our namesake — he was a local sheriffs deputy that we lost in the line of duty. It did happen to be during Boatnik,” said James Thompson from Grants Pass Active Club. “He was on a search and rescue trying to help a lady. That was Tom. So, that’s why he meant so much to us.”

A memorial plaque honoring Deputy Rice was installed by the OK Corral.

The Boatnik trophy is dedicated to him in remembrance.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

NBC5 News reporter Sean Walters earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Emerging Media and Digital Arts from Southern Oregon University. As a result of an accelerated academic program, he graduated in just three years. He was born in Antioch, California, then grew up in Southern Oregon. Sean loves to travel, play guitar and study filmmaking and photography.
Skip to content