If you'd have sailed in had you known you were going to be charged, you apparently didn't think you and your boat were in serious jeapordy - and probably shouldn't have been bothering a lifeboat organization for a tow to begin with. Their mission is to save lives, not to save you inconvenience.
Wait on a sec, sunshine.
It was not quite as easy as you pounce upon. My big computer won't connect to the net at the moment so I can't pull u up the chart.
I was a few hours from the change of current into the Alderney Race that flows about 9 knots. Over rocks. If I had mistimed it sailing they would have been doing a fatal recovery. So I VHF'd the French Coast Guard just to let them know I was in a spot of bother and I was assessing the situation.
The language difficulty was apparent they told me to ring back every 30 minutes.
The next 30 minute report I told them I "would probably need a tow into port". They then sent the vessel to come for me.
It was the prudent thing to do under the circumstances (by both the French and me). It wasn't a normal sailing area situation.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alderney_RaceA strong current runs through the race north of the Passage de la Déroute, a treacherous passage separating the Cotentin from the Channel Islands. The current is intermittent, varying with the tide, and can run up to about twelve knots during equinoctial tides
Up to 12 knots and you wanna second guess decisions made at the time? :grin