Merkley Statement on Newport Helicopter Weekend Rescue

Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley made the following statement after the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in Newport helped rescue five fisherman off the Oregon Coast this weekend.

“This weekend’s rescue of five fishermen off the Oregon Coast is just another example of why the U.S. Coast Guard’s decision to close the Newport helicopter facility is short sighted. Today marks the opening of the dangerous crab fishing season and now is the time when our fishing families need to know that there are lifesaving resources nearby.

“Fortunately, we were able to push the date of the closure back by a few weeks, but to make sure that tragedy doesn’t strike in the future, we have to find a way to permanently save this facility. I’m continuing to work on keeping this helicopter facility open so that when that mayday call comes in, a helicopter is nearby to aid in the rescue.”