Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-08-2010, 08:24   #31
Registered User
 
Don1500's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: On Board, just above the water
Boat: Marine Trader 47
Posts: 1,176
"just like I expect the fire department to come put out the fire at my house without then charging me for it."

Well, I guess you don't live in California. We have to pay for ambulance runs if we don't add a "service Fee" to our water bill. We can opt out of the Fee, but we will be charged for Ambulance service if we do. Fire is comming next.

My wife was charged in excess of $20,000 for a "Mercy" Flight from Richmond Mo to Springfield (120 miles) when she had her stroke. (Great people and great work, saved her life.) Indigent would get it free, but we had insurance so it was charged. And they say we don't have the public option!
__________________

__________________
The Nomad Blog Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call
Everything I know about cruising I learned from Travis McGee - http://theroamingnomad.com
Don1500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 08:41   #32
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,152
The taxpayers should not be the underwriters of rescues for inherently dangerous stunts, especially stunts done to attract media attention, fame and the wealth that usually comes with fame.

Stunts like this should be paid for by those attempting the stunt. Perhaps there are insurance companies willing to underwrite the cost of a rescue if necessary? If not then do not do the stunt in the first place or be willing to pay for a rescue.

The cost of risky fame and wealth stunts have to stop being put on the shoulders of the taxpayers.
__________________

__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 09:30   #33
Registered User
 
muskoka's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Boat: FP Lavezzi 40 / Hatteras 48
Posts: 775
So the French paid $300K to rescue Abby Sunderland?

Of that $300K, what was actually expended in excess of having the rescue crews sitting idle? All that equipment & personnel & property was sitting there waiting for action - so yes it was probably $300K.

Whereas if they'd not been called out it would've been $275K spent on men, machinery & property. And the guys & gals were probably bored silly watching TV...
__________________
muskoka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 09:33   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
This is a common theme in all kinds of SAR.

The argument is that people who assume the risk, should assume the cost of that risk. Pretty reasonable.

OTOH, the counter-argument is that making people responsible for the amazingly high costs involved in rescues will dissuade them from calling when the problem is small and easily managed, but they will call when things have well and truly gone bad - making the risk to the rescuers much greater. Also reasonable.

And the costs of rescue are more than just the fuel used. Helicopters, for example, cost thousands (or for big ones) tens of thousands of dollars per hour in direct maintenance costs. There are parts that are life-limited (500 hours and they're thrown away, before they break, for example).

The airframe has a more or less finite life and the cost of replacement is amortized over that life. Likewise, the cost of maintaining the SAR infrastructure (rescue coordination centers, non-military SAR forces in general, etc) is amortized annually (usually) over the year, and the cost per rescue allocated. $300K is pretty cheap, by US standards. Civilian ships and boats that divert to assist in the rescue incur a cost, as well, but that isn't generally recoverable. Finally, repatriation of the shipwrecked is costly.

However, there are various international treaties (I'm more familiar with the ICAO treaties involved in Air SAR than maritime, but the point is the same) that mandates various nations are obliged to make an effort to rescue, and cover the cost of that attempt, in their areas. They can charge their own citizens, but not foreign nationals, IIRC. They can ask the home nation to reimburse for the costs, and that nation can perhaps charge the rescued for the cost....good luck with that.

Now, not starting the debate over, but the (potential) state charge against the parents is interesting....the case can be made that the girl wasn't qualified to be there alone. Would the situation have been different if she had adults along? Who knows. The one thing that we can be sure of is that had she not gone, she wouldn't have been in that situation.
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 09:34   #35
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
So the French paid $300K to rescue Abby Sunderland?

Of that $300K, what was actually expended in excess of having the rescue crews sitting idle? All that equipment & personnel & property was sitting there waiting for action - so yes it was probably $300K.

Whereas if they'd not been called out it would've been $275K spent on men, machinery & property. And the guys & gals were probably bored silly watching TV...

OK, and when the rescue forces suffer a casualty and a fatality (which does happen), what is the cost?
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 09:37   #36
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
"just like I expect the fire department to come put out the fire at my house without then charging me for it."

Well, I guess you don't live in California. We have to pay for ambulance runs if we don't add a "service Fee" to our water bill. We can opt out of the Fee, but we will be charged for Ambulance service if we do. Fire is comming next.

My wife was charged in excess of $20,000 for a "Mercy" Flight from Richmond Mo to Springfield (120 miles) when she had her stroke. (Great people and great work, saved her life.) Indigent would get it free, but we had insurance so it was charged. And they say we don't have the public option!
A student of mine suffered acute appendicitis while on a scuba diving vacation in the Caribbean. She was operated upon in the Carib (St. Kitts), and it was discovered that she had appendiceal cancer (not too common, but not unheard of). Her medical evac flight to California was over $120K....

She's pretty happy she took my advice and got medical evacuation insurance.
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 10:04   #37
Registered User
 
muskoka's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Boat: FP Lavezzi 40 / Hatteras 48
Posts: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Healer52 View Post
OK, and when the rescue forces suffer a casualty and a fatality (which does happen), what is the cost?
I agree. No one's suggesting that rescuing people isn't often inherently dangerous. And the rescuers are aware of the dangers.

So the options are:

1. Don't rescue
2. Rescue, and it's just part of what we do for our fellow humans
3. Rescue, if they've got a credit card with the appropriate limit

Yes, I know there are idiots who deserve items 1 or 3. Or worse. But I think we need to set our society up on the basis of the reasonable individual who's had bad luck and deserves al la carte 2. And if they've been recklessly stupid they can be sued...
__________________
muskoka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 10:56   #38
Registered User
 
Rou-Coo's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia
Boat: Rou-Coo is a 16 ft Canoe. A big Sister is in the planning stages!
Posts: 76
In Canada the law mandates that you have to render assistance to a vessel in distress. As a civilian you are not entitled to get paid for that...but can (theoretically) go to jail if you don't.

This is really a question of insurance and risk. If you are going to charge people for rescuing them, even from their own stupidity, then how about the smoker? the obese? the drinker? I have 'rescued' people who intentionally ran out of gas because the fishing was good and they didn't want to go back in until they had caught their limit. It is infuriating but I'd rather live in a society that errs on the side of rescuing people than not.

And how do you refuse rescue if you don't even know that the rescuers have been summonsed by some third party. If governments charge for rescue then insurance companies will start to insure the risk and rates will climb.
__________________
Rou-Coo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 11:10   #39
Registered User
 
muskoka's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Boat: FP Lavezzi 40 / Hatteras 48
Posts: 775
That's the conundrum: Morality compels you to respond to distress, and it's only after the fact that you realize you've saved a fool who was better left to drown.
__________________
muskoka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 11:44   #40
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Boat: Newport 28
Posts: 136
High profile SAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Healer52 View Post
This is a common theme in all kinds of SAR.

The argument is that people who assume the risk, should assume the cost of that risk. Pretty reasonable.

OTOH, the counter-argument is that making people responsible for the amazingly high costs involved in rescues will dissuade them from calling when the problem is small and easily managed, but they will call when things have well and truly gone bad - making the risk to the rescuers much greater. Also reasonable.
....
Healer raises good points. In the US onshore SAR world this issue comes up again and again. Recall for example the events a few years ago about the three guys making a winter attemp on the N face of Mt. Hood in Oregon. The fact is that not all SAR work is handled by national authorities, and a big SAR event can sometimes put a huge strain on local resources. That being said, many SAR groups in the US have been opposed to mandatory fees for the reasons noted in Healer's second point.

That being said, big SAR events, whether onshore or at sea, become high profile media circuses. This inevitably causes calls from the general public to recoup expenses from "those idiots". The problem is, the general public usually has no real idea of what the risks really were, how skilled or unskilled the "idiots" were, or even what the actual incremental costs really were.

Even worse, these high profile events often lead to pressure from the generally uniformed public for more rules and regulations. We see this in the often silly and ineffective new boating safety cards that many states have implemented. After the Mt. Hood episode I mentioned above, I've heard there were calls in the Oregon legislature to outlaw winter climbing entirely. How that was supposed to be enforced I have no idea.

Unfortunately, sailors, climbers, BC skiers, etc are a tiny tiny minority of the populace. What seems right or logical to us gets lost in the noise.
__________________
Alaska: We're here, because we're not all there!
AK_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 13:44   #41
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
sailboat to CG, "mayday, mayday, mayday"

CG to sailboat, "Will that be MasterCard or Visa?. We don't accept Discover".

It's simply a matter of time as more and more folks w/o a clue head offshore..

How many times have we read this line, "Never sailed before, I was once on a power boat, our dream is to sail around the world. Which $200K boat should we get?" More and more folks just don't want to put in the time and effort to climb the learning curve. They've got the money to buy the boat, what more could they need. Experience on the ocean? nah. Ask , Ronnie...
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 13:59   #42
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
That's the conundrum: Morality compels you to respond to distress, and it's only after the fact that you realize you've saved a fool who was better left to drown.

LOL. I deal with people all the time who seem to exist on earth only to serve as an example to others of what not to do....

But, I still treat them. I can always use the business
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 14:07   #43
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_sailor View Post
Healer raises good points. In the US onshore SAR world this issue comes up again and again. Recall for example the events a few years ago about the three guys making a winter attemp on the N face of Mt. Hood in Oregon. The fact is that not all SAR work is handled by national authorities, and a big SAR event can sometimes put a huge strain on local resources. That being said, many SAR groups in the US have been opposed to mandatory fees for the reasons noted in Healer's second point.

That being said, big SAR events, whether onshore or at sea, become high profile media circuses. This inevitably causes calls from the general public to recoup expenses from "those idiots". The problem is, the general public usually has no real idea of what the risks really were, how skilled or unskilled the "idiots" were, or even what the actual incremental costs really were.

Even worse, these high profile events often lead to pressure from the generally uniformed public for more rules and regulations. We see this in the often silly and ineffective new boating safety cards that many states have implemented. After the Mt. Hood episode I mentioned above, I've heard there were calls in the Oregon legislature to outlaw winter climbing entirely. How that was supposed to be enforced I have no idea.

Unfortunately, sailors, climbers, BC skiers, etc are a tiny tiny minority of the populace. What seems right or logical to us gets lost in the noise.
Was that the rescue where the AF Reserve Rescue Helo crashed into the mountain? I saw that live on TV...I was talking to a friend in Or who was one of the incident commanders (off duty at that time) when it happened...

But there you go. The cost of that rescue effort included career-ending injuries to the crew, the replacement of a $15 million or so helo, and it's removal from the mountain.

Did the crew know the dangers? Yes. They have a creed, however (much like the Coast Guard):

Quote:
It is my duty as a member of the Air Rescue Service to save lives and aid the injured.

I will be prepared at all times to perform this duty quickly and efficiently, placing it before personal desires and comforts.

These things I do, That Others May Live
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 14:09   #44
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
sailboat to CG, "mayday, mayday, mayday"

CG to sailboat, "Will that be MasterCard or Visa?. We don't accept Discover".

It's simply a matter of time as more and more folks w/o a clue head offshore..

How many times have we read this line, "Never sailed before, I was once on a power boat, our dream is to sail around the world. Which $200K boat should we get?" More and more folks just don't want to put in the time and effort to climb the learning curve. They've got the money to buy the boat, what more could they need. Experience on the ocean? nah. Ask , Ronnie...
Sure, lots of people start out like that. How many actually go through with it?

OTOH, we have pre-pubescent children who want to do a circumnavigation solo, and a lot of folks here think it's a dandy idea.
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 14:23   #45
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rou-Coo View Post
In Canada the law mandates that you have to render assistance to a vessel in distress. As a civilian you are not entitled to get paid for that...but can (theoretically) go to jail if you don't.

This is really a question of insurance and risk. If you are going to charge people for rescuing them, even from their own stupidity, then how about the smoker? the obese? the drinker? I have 'rescued' people who intentionally ran out of gas because the fishing was good and they didn't want to go back in until they had caught their limit. It is infuriating but I'd rather live in a society that errs on the side of rescuing people than not.

And how do you refuse rescue if you don't even know that the rescuers have been summonsed by some third party. If governments charge for rescue then insurance companies will start to insure the risk and rates will climb.
Years ago a private medical helicopter business moved into San Diego. For awhile, they would go and 'respond'....at least starting the engine, anytime they heard of an accident in their service area (but not Mexico), even if they weren't requested - or needed.

Then, they would send a bill to the victim since they 'were ready to respond, and started to before they were recalled'. Lots of wear and tear on the helo, and a huge bill (around $5K) to the victim, their insurance company, or medicare. They kept it up for around 6 months before they got sued...

And I know that Los Angeles city will bill people for their paramedics showing up. If they get paid, great but they don't make a big issue of non-payments. Yet.

In doing SAR, I found a lot of EPIRBS (4 on Thanksgiving night, one year). People would take them out of their racks on the stern, and turn them over to put them below, which turned them on. Nobody noticed the little red led... I spent a lot of time in Marina Del Rey, in Long Beach Marina, all around in people's homes. With the 121.5 EPIRBS, the system was so fragile that an accidental activation could easily cover up a real transmission: It was considered important to shut them off. Lots of time I wished we could fine the bozos that got us out of bed in the middle of the night (Christmas Eve, looking for an EPIRB in the rain? We finally said the hell with it, came back the next day and found it on a very famous (for being famous, mostly) actors 95' yacht, in a hard-pack life raft. One person with me almost slipped off the harbor patrol boat into the water...

But, we'd rather find them, and try to educate them. I spent some time talking to Gordo West about securing an EPIRB on his friends boat in Avalon, and then read all about it in a magazine a few months later - without my name being mentioned Had a run of about 15 at ONE yacht club in Marina Del Rey, and finally went and spoke to the membership at a meeting. Embarrassingly, it was the club I kept my boat in . Never my boat though.

Anyway, I don't think that SAR is something that a government should charge for. I think that stupidity should be prosecuted criminally, and there are enough laws on the books to handle it.
__________________

__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rescue

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
32' Cat Rescue Chuteman Multihull Sailboats 11 22-03-2007 08:59
Rescue at Sea GordMay Cruising News & Events 12 13-03-2007 08:17
Another Rescue! alohaboat Health, Safety & Related Gear 37 16-02-2007 16:55
rescue Alan Wheeler Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 20-12-2005 20:10
Another rescue Alan Wheeler Pacific & South China Sea 5 02-11-2005 07:33



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.