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#176922 - 07/20/09 02:21 AM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: HerbG]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: HerbG
any person determined by the department to have acted negligently in requiring a search and rescue response by the department shall be liable to the department for the reasonable cost of the department's expenses for such search and rescue response.


Yeah, no conflict of interest there. The people getting paid are the ones judging you. And, oh, doesn't that suddenly give "the department" de facto governing properties? Are they a truly legal government entity?

I'm pretty sure a good lawyer could get this thrown out in several ways; the least being that legal precedent has been set by all the non-fined rescues.

As for the helicopter, why is he being held for the costs because the state is negligent in not having the proper equipment?


Edited by MDinana (07/20/09 02:22 AM)

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#176923 - 07/20/09 02:41 AM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for [Re: MDinana]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
The dollar amount seemed a little high unless there was a medevac chopper involved.

I know here in the D/FW area, when CareFlight hits the ignitors on the turbans, it is automatically $10,000.00.

In 2001, the CareFlight aircraft alone were $500.00 per hour to operate. That number was 24 hours a day, not while the aircraft was in flight.


Edited by Desperado (07/20/09 02:41 AM)
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#176927 - 07/20/09 03:29 AM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: benjammin]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1903
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: benjammin
Once people realize again that adventures into the wilds are a privilege and not a right...

??? I don't understand. Are you saying that being able to go out into the wilderness is a priviledge that can be granted (and therefore, revoked) by somebody? Who? Wilderness is mostly public land AFAIK, not private.

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#176944 - 07/20/09 12:43 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: haertig]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Public land is governed, and is regulated, and access to public land can and has been limited by the government on many occasions over the years. We are often "permitted" to enter public lands to do various actions. Even if you own land, you are subject to regulation of what you can and can't do with it (try draining a recognized wetland on your property and see what happens).

Hiking, biking, camping, hunting, fishing, logging, gardening, conservation, mining, dumping garbage, you name it. Whatever action you want to take on public land, such action can be restricted at anytime by the government, including just stepping foot on it. That makes it a privilege. Abuse it, and you will lose it. Private land ain't much different. A little thing called "Eminent Domain" allows the government to come in and take your land anytime they feel like it. Yeah, you might get paid, but it will be whatever they think it is worth, not what you say it is. And the government can come onto your land anytime they want to, and not only can you not stop them, but if you should try, they can use lethal force against you (as much as it takes to get the job done) and nothing will happen to them.

We have darned few rights these days, a lot fewer than we had a hundred years ago. Last I looked, going wherever you wanted to and owning real property wasn't listed in there. You have the right to pursue it, but not necessarily to ever obtain it.

Was the kid wrong? You bet he was. Did he screw up? Without question. Was the extraction warranted? Based on all available information, I doubt he'd have survived let alone self-rescued without it. Is the fine excessive? The expense is probably justified, but I doubt they'll ever get that out of him or his family. Whether they ever imposed such a stiff fine, or any fine for that matter, on anyone previously rescued in such a manner is irrelevent in court. The law as published provides for application at the discretion of the agency involved, and likewise enforcement is non-obligatory, so that argument is moot. I am quite certain that if they were compelled in court to come up with a list detailed the costs, the fine would likely increase considerably. I doubt any sane lawyer would lead their client down that garden path. The agency will have no problem subtantiating the costs. As for use of non-agency services, that is done all the time, and that is how the agency meets it's obligations in a budget tightened economic cycle. Lots of agencies keep private contractors on reserve for emergencies. Another moot issue.

I expect this to lead to would be adventurers making more solid plans about their expeditions. Maybe, to avoid the high cost of government involvement, I expect someone will provide private SAR services for a subscription fee and if their client gets lost or hurt then they will be the ones contacted and they will be the ones doing the rescue (with commensurate liability insurance coverage should things not work out for the best). Either that, or maybe adventurers will do more to ensure they can self rescue or have friends/family available and properly equipped. The other and more likely recourse, given the laxidaisical nature of the general public towards self-accountability, is that some form of adventurer insurance will become mandatory just like getting a vehicle licensed requires proof of insurance.

Pick one. It is inevitable, Mr. Anderson.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#176948 - 07/20/09 01:07 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: benjammin]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Yes Ben, I think the question will really be about what the meaning of negligence is and who gets to decide it and enforce it.
The act as I read it seems to place a relatively minor gov't department above the authority of the legal system, making them into the judge jury and prosecutor all in one go.

I doubt if any judge would be happy with allowing such a diminuition of his authority.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#176949 - 07/20/09 01:09 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: benjammin]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
I can see charging for rescue insurance probably coming down the pipe. It always ashame that a few bad apples spoil the bunch. In the case of this kid, he had made some bad decisions but I don't think the fine is merited in his case. I have a problem with hunters or hikers that get too far out and are to lazy to travel back and fire off a PLB and have SAR rescue them with no life threatening injuries or what have you. This is what is causing all this, a lot of stupid people.
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#176953 - 07/20/09 01:24 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: falcon5000]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
So is that the next step down the path?
To allow NH fish and game to levy rescue insurance premiums and then decide on who gets benefits according to their own determination of the person's negligence?

I think it would be hard to design a system more ready to be abused by the department's accountants.


Edited by scafool (07/20/09 01:25 PM)
Edit Reason: grammur
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#176954 - 07/20/09 01:27 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: falcon5000]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I started to write a lengthy statement, but decided otherwise. What I will say is purely a gut reaction.

The day we start charging for rescue services, is the day I quit.

(falcon5000, this not in response to you, you were just last on the list)

Pete

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#176957 - 07/20/09 01:56 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: paramedicpete]
NobodySpecial Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 197
Similar case happened in Vancouver this winter. Some skiers deliberately left a ski resort to ski back-country.
The ski patrol attempted to stop them and when they refused to return to the resort they initiated a rescue effort.

The skiers were eventually caught, they claimed that they were not in danger (a couple were avalanche instructors) and that they had a right to be on the land (crown land = government owned, open access but not a national park). This lead to a tricky situation since the rescue agency doesn't have powers of arrest but can force people to be rescued for their own safety. The resort banned them and fined them $15,000 as the cost of the rescue.

There are allegations that the resort is using this to effectively privatise the surrounding mountains, if they can force a 'rescue' and huge fine on anyone that doesn't stay within their property.

Developments with expensive beach front homes could also use it as a way of restricting entry to the public beach by threatening the public with huge rescue costs for anyone entering the water.

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#176962 - 07/20/09 02:20 PM Re: Eagle Scout Lost on Mountain Fined $25,000 for Res [Re: paramedicpete]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 958
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
I started to write a lengthy statement, but decided otherwise. What I will say is purely a gut reaction.

The day we start charging for rescue services, is the day I quit.

(falcon5000, this not in response to you, you were just last on the list)

Pete





AMEN!

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