How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-14-2013 Thread Starter
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How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

If you have to be rescued by the Coast Guard from your boat, do you have to pay for the rescue?

Just wondering after seeing this...


Here's the backstory of the video...

"An elderly man and his little dog are safe Tuesday after being rescued from their disabled sailboat off the coast of Ensenada.

According to U.S. Coast Guard officials, the 77-year-old man's boat was dead in the water about 120 miles southwest of San Diego Monday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard San Diego Sector rescued the man and his dog after a ham radio operator in Texas intercepted the mayday call.

The man told crew members he'd been stranded for days and that he was on his way to Tahiti. He was running low on food, water and safety supplies.

"The boat was unable to sail. Sails were ripped and the master and his dog were sitting inside," said Lt. Commander Chip Lewin.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to rescue the man and dog.

"It was about 15- to 18-foot seas with the boat dead in the water. The waves were pushing it away from me as I was trying to get to it. It was challenging swimming to the boat," said Coast Guard aviation survival technician Mike Linehan.

Linehan was the first to make contact with the man, who he said appeared a bit disoriented.

"It was really hard to talk to him at first. Come to find out later he didn't have his hearing aids in. We were just trying to asses his condition," said Linehan.

According to authorities, the man lived on his vessel. He agreed to abandon it when the crew told him he probably would not survive in the rough seas.

Moments later, the man and his pet were hoisted in a basket and into the helicopter."
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

I'm only 53 so I might feel differently at 77. I don't understand why he didn't dump the jib over the side. Clearly there was an issue of some kind with halyards aft of the mast. It looks like it just needs tension up on it but there could be a bigger problem. If he could get the main up he could make way.

Still, I wasn't there. None of us know what the situation really was. Monday morning quarterbacking is easy.

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

Yours was a rhetorical question, right?

The only way to find out what a Coast Guard rescue effort cost is to call in a hoax distress call and get caught. Then, and only then, will you be presented with a bill (and a federal arrest warrant), and those aircraft aren't cheap.

there are many many reasons not to do this.


Even "boneheaded" distress situations are done for free by Charlie Golf. Be grateful, but try not to make these skilled and brave rescuers have to put their asses and aircraft and vessels on the line. Because they will.

Last edited by nolatom; 10-14-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-14-2013
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How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

I didn't see the video...can't see from mobile, for some reason. But I wonder if there was an underlying medical condition. At 77, so many little things can get a body outta sync. In that age group, even a slight electrolyte balance and dehydration can effect judgement. Clear that problem up and a person is back to normal. Just a thought. I have no clue about costs but that sort of operation has to be insanely costly and involved the risk for the CG guys as well

Ihad to be "rescued" (from my own stupidity) by bay watch diving off of SoCal once. Took a ride to the hyperbaric chamber with paramedics for evaluation. I was worried about the cost the whole time but I never did get a bill. I didn't need a chamber ride, I WOULD have received a bill for that.

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

I am not trying to be all mushy here but you really cant put a price on saving someones life.

I believe the coast guard should be the very last ditch effort to safe a life. All means onboard should be exhausted first.

The USCG are some highly skilled and trained young men and woman and I am glad we have such a service. After all, each and everyone of us pays for it. I hope to never have to use them but if someone else has to...well then so be it.


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post #6 of 14 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

There are two ways to look at the cost of a rescue:

1) Total Coast Guard Budget / # of rescues
2) Amount it costs to rescue you - cost to CG if no rescue was done during that window

The first will give you a much higher cost than the second. The second is really more accurate IMHO, but still pretty high if a helicopter and/or overtime is involved. If they send a (small) boat and it does not trigger overtime, it would be a pretty small number I would think.

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

I think a CG SAR runs around $4500.00/hr ( Helo )- $6500.00/hr (C-130) ) and around $500.00/hr (RIB) - $3000.00/hr ( cutter )

I know from my racing days a copter ride from the high desert to Loma Linda Medical was a $12,000 ride

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-17-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

And whom pays the recovery of the vessel ...Or is it not recoverd and just abandoned ..?
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-17-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
T The second is really more accurate IMHO, but still pretty high if a helicopter and/or overtime is involved. If they send a (small) boat and it does not trigger overtime, it would be a pretty small number I would think.
Since when does the military (Coast Guard) pay over time?
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-17-2013
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Re: How much does a Coast Guard rescue cost?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I'm only 53 so I might feel differently at 77. I don't understand why he didn't dump the jib over the side. Clearly there was an issue of some kind with halyards aft of the mast. It looks like it just needs tension up on it but there could be a bigger problem. If he could get the main up he could make way.

Still, I wasn't there. None of us know what the situation really was. Monday morning quarterbacking is easy.

Go sailing.
I'm gonna guess "running low on food and water" 120 miles from San Diego, on a voyage to Tahiti, probably tells us pretty much all we need to know about this one :-)
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