WHAT A LOAD OF BS....Someone makes an error in judgement, gets in trouble and call's on the rescue authorities (in this case Coast Guard). I am almost amazed at the predictability of their cry's of foul from the obviously well informed and well traveled, seasoned sailors on this and every other similar forum. This in turn morphs into cost of the rescue and who should pay(No one should pay its humanity), followed by how this will effect ME in the pocket with increased insurance(bad luck if you want insurance pay you dues), and an atrocious drain on the public purse to fund these rescues of our fellow man( the cost of rescues has already been budgeted for in the yearly running cost). May I say If it is such an affront that our fellow man will at some time come unstuck and need help of some description then why not disband the Coast Guard and perhaps the Navy or all armed forces with a rescue component. Lets make it Law that only those that can pay to be rescued, be rescued. we could include Ambulance and fire fighters, No money no help. How about Police lets have them only protect the important people that can Pay for their time, If you dial 911 or 999 or 000 it will be $100 for the first 15min then $100 for each hour or part there of. Most of us are humanitarian and have ethics and will do what we can for our fellow man. People make mistakes and things do not always go as planed. Those guys would not have agreed with each other to go out and get rescued, loose the beautiful boat and be ridiculed by these adventurous folk bashing away on their keyboards. We have rescue services because we need them, the civilized world would be a sad place without these brave and caring souls who put their lives on the line for everyone, no questions asked. And they do it because they love it. Thanks for letting me rant I need it.
I share some of your feelings, but you have to look at the reality of the situation. I'm addressing some of your bolded comments.
1. It would be nice if humanitarian services were free, but in this era of poor economic growth, and slashed budgets, pay for SAR workers, fuel for planes and rescue vessels has to come from somewhere. Wishing for it to be free, simply won't make it so.
2. I agree that people make mistakes but really, you have to admit that we, mariners, (recreational, commercial, power or sail) have a duty to go to sea responsibly. We can't carelessly hurl ourselves "into the void" because "I pay taxes, so someone has to rescue me!".
We have more tools and technology than ever before which should enable us to make better informed decisions, exercise better judgement, and be more self-reliant, yet more and more people are setting off under dubious conditions and simply punching the "rescue button" without making any serious attempt at self-rescue. "Stop the ride, I want to get off!"
I don't know what's going to happen "globally", but in the U.S., the media is going to sell this to our couch-potato public into "Why are we spending $800,000 to rescue one fool who set off into a storm?"
They will (falsely) make it look like an epidemic that needs dealt with, and we'll all pay the consequences.