The Newport fishing community has lost over 100 fishermen over the years and every time one is lost the entire community grieves. The visualization of a fisherman going overboard is quite traumatic to those that have lost a loved one. Our local ocean waters are not forgiving. The ad, which depicts a group of fishermen tossing a man overboard onto a lifeboat to practice social distancing, did not sit well with the residents of Newport.
Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer wrote a letter to Governor Kate Brown expressing his concern about the ad and the emotional toll it takes on coastal families who have lost loved ones at sea. "I would disagree with the press release that the Health Authority put out regarding the ad “the ad was produced and filmed in January, well before the recent accident on the Oregon coast. In light of the accident, we understand the concerns it raised in coastal communities.”
The reaction among fishing families to the ad was not related to the tragic accident in Tillamook. It was regarding the tragic event anytime a fisherman is lost at sea. As you know the traditional crab season kicks off in late December and early January and it is the most deadly season for the fleet. Please know that the traumatic visualization causes pain in fishing families having to deal with any deadly accident. The ad has been pulled from the air.