FORKS — For the second consecutive night, West End residents used a Coast Guard hearing to blast the proposed closing of the LaPush station.

Many called into question rescue data used to support a Coast Guard conclusion that marine activity had subsided enough to warrant idling the station at the treacherous Quillayute River bar.

An expanded fall fishing season at LaPush and other tourism initiatives will increase use, making the historical figures irrelevant, Forks City Attorney-Planner Rod Fleck said.

“To me, it’s akin to driving in reverse looking out your windshield and hoping that everything’s the same,” Fleck said.

Eric Shields of Forks, a retired Coast Guardsman who served at LaPush, agreed with Fleck.

Shield said he does not believe much of the research compiled, including one report that the station had only been involved in six recent life-saving cases.

This full report appears in today’s editions of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click on “Subscribe” at left to order your copy via U.S. mail.

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