National Night Out thrice the fun

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

The “thump, thump, thump” sound of rotors beating the air grew louder and what began as a dim speck against the clouds soon grew into the vivid orange of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter flying low over the Sutherland’s parking lot in Port Isabel Tuesday evening.

The crowd oohed and ahhed as a man leaned out the open helicopter door and waved. Then the chopper banked to the right and looped around for another pass. And another. Finally, it set down on a patch of asphalt across the street from the building supply store. On the opposite curb, a group of smiling onlookers had gathered, waiting for the go-ahead to get close to the metal bird and its three-man flight crew.

It was the highlight of the first annual National Night Out hosted by the Port Isabel Police Department, and Chief Robert Lopez, who recently marked his one year anniversary with the department, couldn’t have been happier with how the helicopter’s landing had gone. “I loved it. I was looking forward for it,” Lopez said.

“You don’t see that every day. It’s just awesome. I’m really appreciative that the Coast Guard was able to make it out here,” he said.

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