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Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout

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avatar $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 11:02AM
Teen fined $25,000 for cost of NH mountain rescue
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/07/17/national/a100743D18.DTL

Apparently there's a law on the books that allows for the state to charge the rescued party for the cost of search and rescue efforts. It apparently wouldn't have been that much, but the state had to borrow a helicopter from Maine because their own equipment wasn't available.

Personally I think the kid was stupid. Reports are that he "soldiered on" despite a sprained ankle and went at a time of year when melting snow turned a mild creek in the morning into a raging river in late afternoon. However - the standard to me has always been "usual and customary" and the state seems to be forcing the issue of costs when their own equipment was unavailable.
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 11:32AM
With many of the states facing bankrupcy, I imagine that we are going to be reading more reports of rescue costs.
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 01:25PM
Presumably, the fine is to discourage hikers from getting lost or injured in the future.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 02:48PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Presumably, the fine is to discourage hikers from getting lost or injured in the future.

But it could also lead to people not calling for help when they should.
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 02:59PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Frank Furter
Presumably, the fine is to discourage hikers from getting lost or injured in the future.

But it could also lead to people not calling for help when they should.

This is definitely a dilemma; I am not sure what the answer is.
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 06:47PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Frank Furter
Presumably, the fine is to discourage hikers from getting lost or injured in the future.

But it could also lead to people not calling for help when they should.

Yes, the thing is, getting lost or injured are usually not intentional events; how do you discourage "unintentional" events or accidents? Law against bad judgment or bad luck?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 08:50PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
eeek
Quote
Frank Furter
Presumably, the fine is to discourage hikers from getting lost or injured in the future.

But it could also lead to people not calling for help when they should.

Yes, the thing is, getting lost or injured are usually not intentional events; how do you discourage "unintentional" events or accidents? Law against bad judgment or bad luck?

This kid had both. I could understand the sprained ankle, but that he didn't turn back and got lost taking a "shortcut" that he never took before was bad judgement.
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 18, 2009 08:57PM
Show me a seventeen yearold, Eagle Scout or not, with good judgment and I'll pay for the rescue.



Old Dude
avatar Re: $25,000 "fine" in New Hampshire for rescue of an Eagle Scout
July 19, 2009 07:51AM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
eeek
Quote
Frank Furter
Presumably, the fine is to discourage hikers from getting lost or injured in the future.

But it could also lead to people not calling for help when they should.

Yes, the thing is, getting lost or injured are usually not intentional events; how do you discourage "unintentional" events or accidents? Law against bad judgment or bad luck?

This kid had both. I could understand the sprained ankle, but that he didn't turn back and got lost taking a "shortcut" that he never took before was bad judgement.

It seems like the issue is bad luck, clumbsiness, and poor judgment. How do you have a law against that sort of thing? Although it seems appropriate to punish someone for doing what some feel is "stupid", it just doesn't seem reasonable to slap a bill on this guy for the rescue. The extent of the expense could not be regulated by him. What if the state spent 5 million on his rescue? In a sense, tort law would apply -- ones actions cause an injury another. But this situation the guy was prevented from hurting himself further. Why not just eliminate all rescues for bad judgment, stupidity or recklessness? That would be good punishment for the miscreants and save the state the expense of a rescue process, only you don't know what is "justifible" misadventure in the woods and what is "unjustifible" until after the target is rescued. Personally, I plan to maintain adequate documentation that any problems I have in the backcountry are not due to bad judgment.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
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