Newport residents want to keep Coast Guard copter

The helicopter rescue of five people stranded on rocks Saturday at Fogarty Creek State Park has many Newport residents questioning the Coast Guard’s decision to close the Newport air station and consolidate operations at North Bend — an hour away.

Depoe Bay Fire Chief Joshua Williams says the incoming tide would have swept all five people away within 30 minutes.

KGW reports the group “Newport Fishermen’s Wives” has gathered more than 10,000 signatures in little more than a week on a petition to keep the copter at Newport.