KTUU: Alaska delegation asks feds to replace lost Coast Guard helicopter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's congressional delegation has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, requesting funding to replace a lost Coast Guard helicopter. The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter assigned to Air Station Sitka crashed earlier this month off La Push, Wash., killing three crewmen.

"Alaska has more coastline than any other state in the nation. The loss of a helicopter from Air Station Sitka reduces the ability of the Coast Guard to respond to maritime emergencies and places Alaska's commercial and recreational boating public at increased risk," the delegation said in the letter.

The Coast Guard has said it will temporarily shift a helicopter to Sitka from the Lower 48, but the delegation argues that moving a chopper from another location will only create an additional resource gap elsewhere.

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Source: By Channel 2 News staff. Broadcast July 22, 2010