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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Why aren't we billing people who irresponsibly go to sea or climb mountains in bad weather?

We've already heard of the surfers who went out to surf in 40 feet surges, only to demand that their rescuers, risking life and limb to save them, bring their boards onto the helicopter too.

Now we've got another flurry of idiots, as predictable as the inclement weather, hiking into difficulties that can only be resolved by their deaths or extremely expensive rescue operations which put the emergency service personnel themselves at risk of life and limb.

According to one rescuer, visibility was down to five feet due to freezing fog, with snow knee deep. Seriously, what the fuck were those morons doing, going up there in the first place, during a cold snap, in Winter?

Twats who go sailing around the world and end up seeking help to stop themselves drowning are, in many parts of the world, subsequently billed for the cost of their rescue. Often this is even covered by insurance policies which acknowledge and reflect the danger/stupidity (delete as you feel is applicable) of their endeavours.

That should apply to all such rescues. If you want to hike up mountains in Winter, then go get very expensive insurance, and let the state bill you for the cost of hauling your moron ass back to safety.

We're in an economic meltdown, for crying out loud.

Emergency services should be for genuine unforeseeable emergencies, not to act as an expensive taxpayer funded safety net for the rash thrill chasing of morons who don't check the weather forecasts (or indeed notice the snow belting down) before gallopping up mountains unprepared.


3Finker said...

Perhaps if you took the time to realise that not everybody who climbs mountain is an incompetent fool you would realise that it is perfectly possible and safe to climb mountains in almost any conditions if you are sufficiently trained and tooled-up.

It's easy to sit and pass judgment on people from your laptop. I was climbing the highest mountains in the country last weekend, in snow and ice - i had a great time and was surrounded by like-minded outdoor types. Not a rescue helicopter in sight.

JC Skinner said...

So fucking what? Do you want a medal for not costing the state money or putting people's lives at risk? I can do that simply by not going anywhere near the mountains.
You can be cocky now, but I bet the next time the fog comes in fast, or you slip and break your ankles as dusk falls, you'll be praying for the emergency services and you'll cost us all a fortune in finding your idiot ass on a hill somewhere.
You and your 'like-minded outdoor types' should be forced to take out insurance to repay the state for the cost of saving your asses when you do get into difficulties.
Because when those rescue helicopters DO come into sight, they don't fly for free fuelled by your sense of self-entitlement.

Fillerup said...

Outdoor pursuits are to commended when they are done under proper circumstances,and with the right equipment.. ie:for a Tv documentary with a film crew and support helicopter..
But these fucking Morons should be treated with nothing but contempt.
Im sure the first people to agree would be people like 3Finker there,people who actually knwo what they are doing..
as for the Moron's that went up the Sallygap in their street whell 4x4's,they should have been left to the elements so nature could take its course..

The Gombeen Man said...

And don't forget our friends the Gardai... in a twist equal to anything out of Father Ted, eight of them had to call in the emergency services to rescue them on their rescue mission!!!!

Missing Neighbour said...

Speaking as an outdoor type myself, I always find it hilarious when unprepared types head out into the hills with not so much as a packed lunch, drink of water or indeed a weather proof coat. There is nothing wrong with rescuing a group of well prepared people after a random and unforeseen event takes place (after all that's what happens if you happen to fall of a step ladder at home for example). The defining line should be when idiot x, y and z decide to take off with fuck all thought or preparation in the middle of a bleak Irish winter. It should be treated as a preliminary round of the Darwin awards as far as I am concerned. If it wasn't for mobile phones (strangely enough, the one thing these neurally challenged turds never forget) there would be a lot more bodies littering the hillsides of our beautiful countryside.

3Finker said...

Agreed - idiots who are unprepared should be charged as the OP suggests, but the most prepared climber can get into trouble out of shear bad-luck. There is a difference.

Dave said...

I heard someone from Mountain Rescue being interviewed recently. They don't get paid, which leads me to believe they enjoy the challenge of locating and hauling dimbos off the peaks. It's a hobby, I suppose.

As for police, RAF (apparently we still call them in), etc, yes, they should bill the rescued.

Rua, said...

Aren't a Irelands life gaurds and mountain rescue groups voluntary? By all means bill the rescued but it won't make any difference to the rescuers....bar an indirect, and no doubt, unwelcome cockblock

What? They're clearly in it for the chicks, thats why I'd do it...

JC Skinner said...

They are volunteers, but the military assistance are not.
The choppers don't fly on love and the equipment isn't donated by Oxfam.
The search and rescue service costs money - a lot of money. And the people picking up the bill are the taxpayer, not those responsible for causing the cost.
A small insurance policy, akin to the skiing surcharge on travel insurance, would be sufficient to reduce the cost to the taxpayer to zero and indeed reduce deaths.
Some numpties wouldn't pay for it and hence wouldn't go acting the eejit, while others who did get insured would have to adhere to the sensible use clauses that insurance firms would no doubt insert into their policies.
Things like be properly dressed, bring the right equipment and undergo rudimentary training, for example.

Anonymous said...

They are volunteers and do it for altruistic reasons, I have done it and gladly give the time despite the idiocy of some of the people.

I would not agree to an insurance fund for visiting the great outdoors, it strikes me as ridiculous. We have a right to leave the crowded cities and enjoy the country without cost. We pay plenty of taxes in this country and the government has a duty of care to provide emergency aid when required.

It would be better if visitors to dangerous areas took the time to learn about the hazards, but you get idiots in all walks of life and we don't impose a tax because your neighbour habitually burns his kitchen down. Most climbers are well trained, well kitted out and take the time to check the weather forecast. It is unfair to blame the people who take the time to climb safely for idiots who don't.

JC Skinner said...

If your neighbour burns down their kitchen, then they either lose their kitchen or else they rebuild it with funds from their insurance policy.
I'm not suggesting that people who take a walk through some countryside in summer should require insurance.
I'm suggesting that some outdoor pursuits clearly carry much more significant risks than that (otherwise we wouldn't need rescue services at all).
And just like skiing, those pursuits should be underwritten by insurance to spare the cost to the taxpayer of the rescue service.
After all, why should a well-trained experienced sailor in an ocean-worthy yacht require that insurance to set to sea, but morons on surfboards do not?