Onerous regulations and insurance requirements would put many of us out sailing, sink the marine industry, and serve only to eliminate all but the very wealthy from sailing. In this situation, the guy was obviously not a capable navigator. Perhaps to eliminate these kinds of calls a test demonstrating knowledge of basic sextant use COULD be a good thing. Everyone going offshore should have the ability to at least take a noon sight so he/she can estimate position without a GPS. No boat should be offshore i.m.o. without a battery powered, waterproof handheld GPS as a backup. As in all matters where the taxpayer is left holding the bag, lack of personal responsibility is at the core.
Maybe the criteria for free rescue should be sunk vessel or imminent death, otherwise you pay for frivolous calls.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.