Newport Rescue Helicopter Saved
Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio says the Newport Air Station is safe from closure, at least for the next two years.The Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, passed Thursday in the House, secures funding for the rescue helicopter.
Last year, the Coast Guard announced it was closing the Newport station because of budget cuts. After outcry from the community and Oregon’s Congressional delegation, the Coast Guard postponed the closure for at least a year. Jennifer Stevenson is with Newport Fishermen’s Wives. She says if the station were to close, the nearest helicopter would have to travel at least 2 hours to get to the central coast.
Stevenson: “People get, they get into bad situations really quickly out in our ocean. It’s treacherous. You know the cold waters make rescue such a time concern when you have someone who falls in the water. So you need that immediate, quick response from the helicopter.”
Stevenson is relieved the station will remain. Congressman DeFazio’s office says Senate approval of the legislation which funds Newport’s Air Station is expected.