The Associated Press
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The wives of fishermen from Oregon’s largest commercial fleet are suing to stop the U.S. Coast Guard from closing its rescue helicopter station in Newport.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Eugene argues that closing the Newport Air Station would violate the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which prohibits the Coast Guard from cutting back its mission.
The Coast Guard has said budget cuts led to the closing, and it will cover the central Oregon Coast from Astoria and North Bend stations.
The lawsuit says that will add an hour to the time for a helicopter to reach a stricken vessel, which could be the difference between life and death.
A spokesman says the Coast Guard will let the legal system run its course.