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Old 09-07-2010, 06:33   #16
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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I always wonder this when the "cost" of things like a rescue gets quoted. For the most part the only extra cost between doing a rescue and the crew sitting on their butts is the fuel used.

So for those who support a "pay for" how do you propose to determine the cost?
Well, like any service that gets charged for, it would have to consist of an itemised bill listing the EXTRA costs that were incurred in the course of the rescue. So, you might have to pay for helicopter flying time, but the salary of the aircrew would have been paid to them anyway so it is not a rescue related cost. If a boat had to be diverted to pick you up then you might be liable for the extra fuel or costs attributed to delaying that boat.

The costs would have to be reasonable on any commercial scale or else they could be challenged in court. I suspect that the massive figures that get plonked down like "$3,000,000" would come down rather quickly.

Besides, if you need a rescue are you really going to drown rather than call for help? The key word here is *need*.

Having said all of the above, I think it is easiest to continue the existing system which, on a governmental scale, costs peanuts to run. The danger of proposed systems is that they cost more to administer than they earn in fees.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:51   #17
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It would be very hard to administer except for the terms under which the French law has apparently been written

- they're not speaking of just ANY rescue -

These are primarily rescues where they've told their citizens "not to go" and then been "wantonly" ignored - as we read it, if you go there under emergency circumstances (weather, mechanical failure or medical need etc) then you still do not pay.

So if you wish to ignore your governments instructions then what they're saying is "we'll still fulfill our moral obligation to resuce you (if we can) - but you too have an obligation as a citizen which you chose to ignore and therefore now you pay"

That seems entirely reasonable to us.

All it means is that before you go into a no go area you'd better be one of three things.
1 - Wealthy enough to afford any eventuality
2 - Well insured against any eventuality (unlikely in a no-go zone)
3 - Poor and reckless enough that you don't give a hoot what you cost anyone else !

If the regulations were to be expanded that would be an entirely different matter.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:14   #18
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I pay a lot of taxes to the United States government. I then pay additional fees to register my boat. I fully expect the Coast Guard, the Sheriff's Department, the Parks Department or one of the 50 other government departments putting around in the Texas gulf to come to my aid if I have an emergency without sending me a bill afterwards just like I expect the fire department to come put out the fire at my house without then charging me for it. If they're going to bill me, why am I paying taxes in the first place? Why not just privatize all rescue services?

Now, I also want all those rescue services to help foreign ships in our waters without charge just as I hope a foreign government would have the courtesy of helping me if I left U.S. waters.

However, if a government official tells me I cannot sail somewhere because it is too dangerous, I would listen.

That being said, I can imagine situations arise where you have limited means and need to be out of a country or have to be at a certain location within a certain timeframe and your options of how to get there start to become very limited.

Part of me says living through some terrible ordeal is payment enough because even the dumbest among us are going to learn the lesson never to do it again. Part of me agrees that is you purposely did something dumb, you should have to pay for it.

Then again, I do lots of dumb things not on purpose.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:34   #19
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It would be very hard to administer except for the terms under which the French law has apparently been written

- they're not speaking of just ANY rescue -
So I take it we now boycott French fries and French sailors in peril ....till this is cleared up?
… c'est la vie...
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:59   #20
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What about the guy with the Westail 32, during the "Perfect Storm" in the '90's? He was ordered off his boat by USCG. Does he pay for his "rescue?"
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:05   #21
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What about the guy with the Westail 32, during the "Perfect Storm" in the '90's? He was ordered off his boat by USCG. Does he pay for his "rescue?"
He was not sailing against govt. advice.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:25   #22
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It must be nice to live in countries where land based rescue services are free. In the US you are likely to get bills from fire departments and from ambulance services responding to an emergency. Last year an acquaintance of mine fell off of a ladder at his home. He did have a fracture but the rescue services called to his house had a Standard Operating Proceedure for a fall from a ladder (because of the possibility of internal injuries) that called for helicopter evacuation to a trauma center. The nearest trauma center to his home was located about 60 miles away. He got a bill from the rescue squad (local fire dept.) for $800 and a bill for the helicopter evacuation of $15,000. All of this for a simple fracture that could have been taken care of at a local hospital. In this event, his health insurance covered most of the bill, but it was not without charge.

My concern with maritime rescue is that the services involved have huge responsibilities beyond maritime rescue. The primary missions of the USCG these days is coastal security and drug interdiction. Maritime rescue, at least in the southern waters of the US, is almost an afterthought. I wonder how much money is actually spent on the rescue of recreational boaters by the Coast Guard every year. I would guess it would be a very small percentage of the actual budget. It would just seem likely that governments would try to put an unfair percentage on the "rich" boaters. Governments around the world have already done this to "rich" private aviators with the implementation of user fees required for use of air traffic control and aviation facilities. Even though small aircraft don't require the same level of services as a large aircraft, governments require that you use them and charge inappropriate amounts. In the US, this has not happened yet, but the government keeps trying. US private aviators, (Cessna drivers, not business jets) pay for these services through fuel taxes. Because small aircraft use less fuel they are charged appropriately for the facilities they require. Commercial jets pay fuel taxes plus each passenger gets charged an excise tax on their ticket purchase. The excise tax pays for facilities like fancy passenger terminals, 2 foot thick concrete runways, and additional air traffic control facilities required to support and manage commercial traffic. This system works quite well and appropriately distributes the cost to the public. I suspect most goverments will follow the user fee model where costs are inappropriately distributed to the recreational user (i.e. rich) if they decide to recover their costs for support of the marine environment.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:43   #23
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He was not sailing against govt. advice.
Good point!
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:44   #24
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US private aviators, (Cessna drivers, not business jets) pay for these services through fuel taxes.
We recently had similar problem over here in the UK were the EU bureaucracy decided that anything in the air could cause massive damage if it fell out of the sky and mandated a minimum insurance cover payout level of £63m. They were thinking of nothing smaller than an Airbus so when they are asked about, glider, hot air balloons and paragliders they said "Ah! Well obviously not those" and the backtracking began.

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Because small aircraft use less fuel they are charged appropriately for the facilities they require.
Now here you have hit on something. Paying for rescue services via a levy on fuel / insurance / etc would seem to make sense. Any rescue service will have its costs in two parts - regular costs (wages, servicing, office rental, etc) and exceptional costs (charging out into the Atlantic at short notice). As long as the exceptional costs were spread out by levying perhaps a penny per litre on diesel then even on a 300 litre tank fill up it would add £3 (or $3 or €3) which most people could stand and it would provide general funding for the rescue services. It would be better than sticking it on insurance.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:16   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I always wonder this when the "cost" of things like a rescue gets quoted. For the most part the only extra cost between doing a rescue and the crew sitting on their butts is the fuel used.

So for those who support a "pay for" how do you propose to determine the cost?

And do you think giving a big bill to a rescued crusier is anything other than symbolic as how many could ever pay such a thing?

In the end do you think the threat of having to pay for a recue is going to change someones behavior in light that they were willing to take the chance with thier life to start with?
It is sadly not always just the standing costs of manpower or even training exercises, Don. Sometimes a rescue leads to a loss of life by a rescuer.........or sometimes the costs can spiral.

When the Australian Navy pushed south against bad seas and a shortening time line using a West Australian based frigate to rescue Tony Bullimore in 1997, the warship returned looking like an elongated golf ball!

As it slid in towards Fremantle I'd never seen so many buckled plates in my life. I believe the figure for replating was reported as A$4+M.

Worth it as it saved Mr Bullimore but as you say it did not prevent him setting off once more on a solo southern ocean race a few years on...........

JOHN
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:53   #26
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As it slid in towards Fremantle I'd never seen so many buckled plates in my life. I believe the figure for replating was reported as A$4+M.
Tut tut! You ozzies are going have to stop making your navy ships out of recycled beer cans....
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:04   #27
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The country of Chile instituted a requirement for insurance on vessels heading south into the fjords towards Cape Horn due to excessive costs of "rescuing" those who were not prepared and qualified for the journey. That was a decade ago and I don't know if they still require it or the drop-off in boats heading south solved the problem.
- - Here is the latest I got from Noonsite: "Regulations state that foreign yachts must have a pilot on board, unless they are fully insured. Recently, requesting proof of insurance has generally been abandoned due to the difficulty of identifying genuine valid papers. Yachts requiring emergency help from the Chilean Navy or using the Chilean SAR may have to pay for these services."
- - The French article is interesting and has many valid points - but then - they carve out exceptions for "journalists and aid workers." That alone make the whole thing a political sham/scam. Journalist earn big bucks for dangerous assignments. Their going into danger is not for "pure motivations" but for money. Aid workers are in the same basket as they know in advance that they are going into "life-threatening" situations. The same "insurance" requirements for "ordinary" citizens needs to be applied equally to everybody, pure and simple. And like all insurance schemes those who have "high risk" profiles/activities should pay higher premiums.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:45   #28
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The proposed law is silly. All the rescue services train incessantly and actually benefit from the real deal when it occurs in both proficiency and fulfillment of purpose.

The worldwide economy is in trouble and all levels of government from top to bottom are all looking to cut costs and find new revenue sources. That is the first reason for the proposed law, a dramatic and easy target that will neither cut costs nor add appreciable revenue. The second reason is government's, any government's, penchant to punish and outlaw whatever behavior that has caused injury or death and is topical.

What could be more irresistible to a politician than his or her televised thundering against an evil straw man.

Punitively and frugally yours, Congresscritter B.S. Jawboner.
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Old 09-07-2010, 16:10   #29
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G'Day All,

Seems to me that the proposed French rule is sorta like the Fire Department charging for putting out your house fire if they find that you had any flammable liquids stored in your garage or other such violations of the fire codes. Don't think it is a workable scheme, especially in the hands of a bureaucrat.

Cheers,

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Old 09-07-2010, 20:31   #30
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G'Day All,

Seems to me that the proposed French rule is sorta like the Fire Department charging for putting out your house fire if they find that you had any flammable liquids stored in your garage or other such violations of the fire codes. Don't think it is a workable scheme, especially in the hands of a bureaucrat.

Cheers,

Jim
Actually it is more like the French Fire Department putting out your house fire if your souse is located in Iraq.

They are making the distinction of foreign rescues. However, cynic that I am, I know where step 1 leads.
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