NEWPORT — Newport City Council proclaimed August as Coast Guard Month in the city of Newport. Mayor Dean Sawyer read a proclamation honoring the United States Coast Guard at the regular meeting Monday evening, encouraging “all residents and visitors to celebrate and thank the U.S. Coast Guard and Station Yaquina Bay and its individual members for protecting our shores for 230 years.”
Sawyer continued, “The United States Coast Guard plays a vital role in the city of Newport and the state of Oregon. Station Yaquina Bay personnel work diligently, keeping safe the commercial fishing fleet, recreational mariners and locals and visitors in their use of the ocean and beaches.”
The proclamation proudly noted, “The city of Newport has been recognized as a Coast Guard City and maintains an excellent relationship with Station Yaquina Bay.”
The origins of the Coast Guard trace to the Revenue Cutter Service, established by the Treasury Department under Secretary Alexander Hamilton on Aug. 4, 1790, when Congress “authorized the building of 10 cutters, whose responsibility would be enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution,” the proclamation recounts.
While the name Coast Guard was not adopted until 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the Lifesaving Service, “The Coast Guard has been continuously at sea since its inception,” Sawyer read.
The Lighthouse Service joined the Coast Guard in 1939, and the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection joined in 1946, the proclamation details. In 1967, the Coast Guard was transferred to the Department of Transportation.
The mayor read a second proclamation recognizing Petty Officer Curtis Williamson from Station Yaquina Bay as the Sailor of the Quarter for the third quarter of the 2020 fiscal year. Williamson’s “dedication to the training of his shipmates has been identified as a contributing factor to the success of the unit,” Sawyer read.
Williamson consistently displays “a positive, enthusiastic and energetic attitude that significantly improves the morale and atmosphere of the unit … has gone above and beyond expectations to ensure that newly reported members feel welcomed.” The proclamation details Williamson’s dedication to the unit, obtaining certifications ahead of schedule and accepting additional responsibility, his actions “in keeping with the Coast Guard core values and the unit’s command philosophy.”
Sawyer concluded, “The city of Newport, a Coast Guard City, appreciates Williamson and Station Yaquina Bay for a job well done and the committed protection of commercial and recreational users of Yaquina Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Bravo Zulu, Petty Officer Williamson!”
Following the council meeting, Sawyer gave a shout out to the Coast Guard’s Newport Air Station. “It’s just as valuable to us,” he told the News-Times. “The Coast Guard does so much for our community — we can’t thank them enough.”
Sawyer also noted the Coast Guard’s value to the commercial fishing industry. “They save so many lives. They are so dedicated. When there’s a problem, they just jump and go,” he said.