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Newport Joins Federal Lawsuit Against Coast Guard For Decision To Close Air Rescue Facility


The Newport City Council voted today to join a federal lawsuit asking the Coast Guard to reverse its decision to close the Newport Air Rescue Facility.

The U.S. Coast Guard originally said the air facility and rescue helicopter would be decommissioned November 30th, but extended that by just two weeks to December 15th.

Spencer Nebel is Newport City Manager. He says the city is joining as plaintiffs with the Port of Newport, Fisherman's Wives and others in a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction against the Coast Guard's action.

Nebel:  "There's a general feeling from the city council and from the community at large, and actually from the entire Central Oregon Coast, that the closure of this facility certainly will make a difference in a rescue versus a recovery situation if the helicopters have to come out of Astoria or out of North Bend, and that's a huge concern."

Nebel says the lawsuit will be filed by Thanksgiving. The Fishermen's Wives, a non-profit organization, has hired attorney Mike Haglund. Today the Newport News-Times published a 36-page insert detailing the history of sea mishaps on the Central Oregon Coast dating back more than 20 years.  

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