Raft captains on the Rio Grande, a key tourist attraction in Portland, are appealing for assistance in the wake of a weeks-long lay-up since the closure of water bodies to the public and the shutdown of the tourism industry as global travel ground to a halt.
Lawrence Chisholm, president of the Raft Captains Association, said that vessels that have laid idle on river banks since March have been damaged by the prolonged heat.
The 87 registered raft captains are concerned that they won’t be ready in time for the return of tourists.
Chisholm said that raft captains who applied for a bailout as tourism workers had not received those grants despite receiving promises.
“We are an important part of the tourism sector, and yet still, raft captains have not received a penny, even though we were told that we would benefit during the period of the coronavirus as we had lost our income,” said the association president.