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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2007
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Curious - does the coast guard charge you an arm and a peg-leg for being resued?
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2007
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Coast Guard rescues for no charge to those being rescued. Congress provides the cash and of course they get that from the American tax payer. So I guess we all pay for it.
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  #23  
Old 06-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernix
Curious - does the coast guard charge you an arm and a peg-leg for being resued?
They should, then some folks would think twice before calling them for non-emergencies. It's been discussed in Washington and it's sometimes the leverage used when the CG budget is cut. ie. cut our budget and we'll have to start charging folks to be rescued.
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Old 06-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernix
Curious - does the coast guard charge you an arm and a peg-leg for being resued?
Yes . . . my left arm and peg-leg were sent to the IRS years ago.
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  #25  
Old 06-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USCGRET1990
They should, then some folks would think twice before calling them for non-emergencies. It's been discussed in Washington and it's sometimes the leverage used when the CG budget is cut. ie. cut our budget and we'll have to start charging folks to be rescued.
Well, obviously this case was an emergency but how could the Coast Guard really charge? Do fire departments charge to put out fires? Do police departments charge victims to find thiefs? What if a person was offshore, wasn't really certain as to the severity of their problem and decided, only because they didn't have the money, not to call for help? What then? I don't see how the Coast Guard would figure that one out. Maybe I'm missing something though.
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Old 06-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanConnett
Well, obviously this case was an emergency but how could the Coast Guard really charge? Do fire departments charge to put out fires?
Sean
You may find it hard to believe, but in some places, fire departments do charge for putting out fires: in rural areas (outside town limits) we have associations (sometimes in conjunction with town FD's) that charge dues and maintain memberships. Here's the point: if you don't sign up and pay your dues and you have a fire and call 911, you will be charged for the service. The dues are cheap (45$/year for us and that's on the high side, from what i hear), and the charge if you're not a member is in the area of 2000$ (give or take). It would be an interesting debate: should the CG sell 'memberships' and charge non-members for service. (Perhaps i shouldn't post this, some DC weasel might get ideas.....) It's really a question of allocation of taxes, what gets priority: my property taxes get put towards sheriffs, schools, roads, etc... but the 'etc' doesn't include the FD. It's possible that someday the 'etc' coming out of DC may no longer include the CG, though that seems unlikely. I do think the CG should be able to recoup some $ from the real dumba$$'s who put themselves (and the rescuers) in harms way, but i think that would be increadibly (sp?) hard to regulate, and wouldn't really solve anything. Oh well, long post - no content, sorry.
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Old 06-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanConnett
Well, obviously this case was an emergency but how could the Coast Guard really charge? Do fire departments charge to put out fires? Do police departments charge victims to find thiefs? What if a person was offshore, wasn't really certain as to the severity of their problem and decided, only because they didn't have the money, not to call for help? What then? I don't see how the Coast Guard would figure that one out. Maybe I'm missing something though.
People charged in connection with false Mayday call hoaxes are often charged with the costs of the efforts of the USCG. This includes the salaries/wages of the personnel involved, the cost and charges for fuel and equipment used during the hoax and other such fees.

Some emergency services in the US are not "free". Ambulances often charge the client for their services.
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  #28  
Old 06-05-2007
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Sailingdog, I wish the number of prosecuted hoaxes was equal to the number of probable hoaxes the Coast Guard deals with. Finding the scum that sends false distresses just to see the Coast Guard get all spun up is not easy but it's not impossible. New communication systems like the Rescue 21 platform is helping the Coast Guard find where signals are coming from and to record the calls to help in the prosecution. Of course the system is designed to aid in finding mariners that are in real distress but the bad guys can't hide from it either.
I don't see a "Membership Coast Guard" coming down the road anytime soon. SeaTow, Boat U.S., Vessel Assist and the many other commercial salvage companies will have plenty of business though, for many years to come.
Now, if you want to discuss the Coast Guard working search and resuce cases in foreign waters like the Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and the rest of the Caribbean Basin, then that's a whole different bucket of fish.
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  #29  
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I only asked because I know that if say you were hiking and fell over an enbankment and they had to fly in a helicopter, you would be charged something like $15,000 for the helicopter - I think the same is true if you were in a car accident and they flew you instead of drove you to the hospital - which they would only do if your life was in jeaopardy - so since you have fuel and the highly skilled pilot, you get charged.
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And as for charging, what else would the CG be doing - they're probably bored out of their gourds most of the time anyway.
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