I am aware of the fine but that was a different scenario. There was a guy in the UK this year who was 'rescued' a number of times. They finally took away his boat. They should have charged him for all the rescues as was my point in my last post.
I do not disagree, not with you neither with Tom. That as to do with responsibility and living in society. Someone that calls for a rescue when there is not a life threatening situation is irresponsible. Someone that sails offshore in a boat not meant to or in bad shape is irresponsible.
This is a question about responsibility an knowledge and the main issue is to know if the decisions should be free (like going to sail without knowing nothing about it or in an unsuitable boat) and later people be held responsible for their actions or if should be taken preventive measures regarding people going to the sea without knowing what they are doing and in anything that floats.
Clearly in Europe they have gone to preventive measures. On most countries the boats have to be insured and RCD says exactly what is the type of boat that can be used in each situation. Defines minimum requirements regarding the boats that can be used offshore and the boats have to be certified by the manufacturer. On top of that the boats have pass regular inspections and it is not only necessary to have a boat that is authorized to do that but also to have all the equipment needed for that.
Even if you have all that is needed in what regards material, you will need a licence that supposedly says that you are competent. An Oceanic licence can only obtained after several years and several other licences that include not only knowledge but practice.
I am not saying that this is a perfect system or the right way but certainly will prevent a crazy guy that decides to set sail for the horizon with a derelict, risking the lives of others and cost a fortune in SAR operations to be paid by all.
The other way to do it is maintaining apparently freedom without any limitations and make mandatory for the ones that sail a SAR insurance that will pay an eventual rescue. Insurance companies will take car of making impossible mad situations. They will charge according to the risk and for the ones that the risk is too high, they simply will not find an insurance and will not be able to put their live or others lives in jeopardy.
Take your pick