Fishermen's wives sue to keep Coast Guard station open


The wives of fishermen from Oregon's largest commercial fleet are suing to stop the Coast Guard from closing its rescue helicopter station in Newport, a seaport town about 100 miles southwest of Portland.

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.

Closing the stations is estimated to save $6 million each, according to the Coast Guard.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Newport Fishermen's Wives Inc., the City of Newport, Lincoln County and the Port of Newport, counters that the deaths of three fishermen from hypothermia after their boat sank off Newport in 1985 led to establishment of the Newport base, according to a report by The Statesman Journal.