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Thread: Teen Fined for Rescue

  1. #11
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    your right it is a hard call the F&G a paid staff and i would not work for nothing either if thats my job .but i do volunteer for S&R and thats my choice but there are expenses even for search teams and we had to close ours up because of that . even the fire co are having a tough time getting money to keep up with new trucks and equipment .
    the fire co here are now charging for materiel used to clean up a car crash .they send it to your insurance co . more then 75% of the crashes are people that dont live in that town and donate to them so why should the people of the town pay for it ?


    its a tough call on this one
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  2. #12
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    I'm with Jim and Brad on this. This kid may have made some mistakes, but it is easy for that to happen in that kind of circumstance. He seemed like he was quite prepared as Jim indicated. I'm almost always on the other side of this debate - feeling that the reckless hiker should in fact be fined (where most often they are not). This seems like the wrong time - particularly for such a large fine (even if it is to recover rescue costs).
    Mark

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  3. #13
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    Default A big mistake

    I will be waiting to hear how the state of new hampshire is going to treat the family of Mr Shintani. The poor gentleman lost his life in ,which on the surface, seems to be a more reckless case. Are they going to bill his grieving family. I think the state is setting a very bad precedent without a mechanism in place to make honest,informed decisions. If they are going to pursue this path of cost recovery they should set up a review panel,including members of the climbing community and the S&R groups to help decide if an action was negligent and recoverable. I hope the state is not just targeting a family, they feel has resources, in an attempt to recoup some funds.

  4. #14
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    I'll give $10 to the Obs if this boy or his family ever pay more than $1,000 towards this rescue effort. This is a news headline, not reality.

    Let me know when your house burns down. I'll make sure the fire department sends you the bill for putting out the fire.

    Note: For $150 (2000 data) you get full access to Denali NP plus 100% of rescue costs.
    Bill
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
    I'll give $10 to the Obs if this boy or his family ever pay more than $1,000 towards this rescue effort. This is a news headline, not reality.

    Let me know when your house burns down. I'll make sure the fire department sends you the bill for putting out the fire.

    Note: For $150 (2000 data) you get full access to Denali NP plus 100% of rescue costs.
    If you're smoking in be then the fire department should send the bill. $150 for Denali is pretty reasonable. Not quite so many foolish people there though (unless they have the money for a guide service to haul their butt up the mountain...)
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


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    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
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  6. #16
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    Scott Mason actually walked his own ass out of trouble, to safety. SAR chose their approach based on parental fright/concern.

    He wasn't rescued (as in pulled out of a bad place by brute force.) He self-rescued by going back UP to Gulfside, after he bushwhacked his way across the upper topo cirque of Great Gulf from 6 Husbands to Sphinx, bypassing the high water and deep stuff.

    I'd be taking issue with Maj. Tim Acerno's allegations of Scott's adventure, because Scott WAS trying to "come down" east and out of windage to Great Gulf Trail. Coming Down wasn't a happening thing.

    Looks and smells like a fi$$hing expedition and the State of NH wants geld.

    Boo and hiss.

    Breze





    I don't want to think that the State of New Hampshire goes fi$$$$hing for dollars

  7. #17
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    This has turned into a good discussion IMHO....I like it. At the same time, it certainly is becoming evident that I have the fringe opinion, at least in this forum. A couple things that I want to point out...

    Jim mentioned semantics and now I'm going to bring some to light again:

    Quote Originally Posted by JimS View Post
    ...I don't see how this was reckless...
    Quote Originally Posted by JimS View Post
    One of the big phrases that circulated with this reckless hiker statute...
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    Better definition of reckless would sure help us all.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrohssler View Post
    ...to help decide if an action was negligent...
    The law/statute/whatever that F&G used to bill Scott Mason for the cost of his rescue does not go after "reckelss" hikers. It goes after "negligent" hikers. There's a big difference, in my opinion, between a reckless hiker and a negligent hiker. Here's the excerpt from the article that talks about this :

    Quote Originally Posted by faegilr
    Several states, including neighboring Maine and Vermont, have rescue repayment laws similiar to New Hampshire, though others tend to be more lenient. In Washington state, a bill that would have created a reimbursement system with fines capped at $500 never even made it out of committee this year. In New Hampshire, however, lawmakers made it even easier to charge for rescues last year when they changed the law to allow fines for those who acted negligently instead of the harder to prove standard of recklessness.
    Moving on:
    Quote Originally Posted by JimS View Post
    Sounds like he was prepared.
    Quote Originally Posted by mtruman
    He seemed like he was quite prepared as Jim indicated
    A question for both of you...what makes you think that he was prepared? Was there something you read in the media that made it seem that he was? I was told by people involved with the rescue that Mr. Mason was indeed NOT properly prepared, especially for the hike he set out on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Breeze
    Scott Mason actually walked his own ass out of trouble, to safety.
    Maybe this is picking on semantics again, but that statement is not entirely true. Scott Mason got lost in the Great Gulf Wilderness and then did find his way back onto the ridge on his own. Rescuers found him somewhere around Clay Col, clearly on his way to the summit. What do you suppose he was going to do one he reached for the summit? He was probably going to come knocking on the door and he would have ended up getting ride down just like he did anyways. Would he have ended up "walking his own ass out of trouble"? Doubtful, because that would have meant hiking an additional 4+ miles down the mountain to Pinkham.

    Ultimately, it seems that people such as myself who were more closely involved with the SAR operations have a differing opinion from those that got all their information from the media, who by the way, made this kid out to be a hero.
    Last edited by bclark; 07-18-2009 at 11:28 PM.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bclark View Post
    Ultimately, it seems that people such as myself who were more closely involved with the SAR operations have a differing opinion from those that got all their information from the media, who by the way, made this kid out to be a hero.

    This is a very good point, the media loves a self rescue and really did play this one up. Perhaps rightfully so after a few extra nights alone on the storied Mount Washington. And although I had heard in early reports that he had crampons, adequate clothing and shelter, I certainly am far from knowing the whole story.

    Also, good mention on the fact that the law was changed last year from reckless to negligent. But a further definition of what that means would be helpful. We've all seen really negligent and can easily point to things like no map, late start without a headlamp, no shelter, poor footwear and alcohol. But there is a grey area in between that I think this challenges.

    Is hiking alone always negligent?
    Is leaving the trail for any reason negligent?
    Is winter climbing inherently negligent?
    and closest to me...
    Is night hiking negligent?

    I think my biggest problem with the fine is that the intent of the trip isn't far from what many experinced peak baggers, winter climbers, and myself set out to do in a weekend. And though he made some mistakes, his decisions don't seem too far off base given the gravity of his situation.

    There are many, many hikers who are far less prepared that need rescue that I support the cost recovery on, but this really opens up serious financial risk on an activity that I have work hard to intensely plan for and undertake as safely as possible...
    Last edited by JimS; 07-19-2009 at 08:48 AM.
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  9. #19
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    There is another side to this as well. This will set a precident in NH for the ability to pose large fines on people for needing rescue services. And it is a fine no matter how you want to reword it. When people are in need in the future will they need to think of their back pocket before calling for help? I would hate to think that help won't be sought because people will be afraid of what it will cost them.

    We live in difficult economic times but this is not the best way to recoup.

  10. #20
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    Thumbs down Ridiculous

    Just for comparison - - I hike and climb in the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park. You buy a park pass for $5 and as long as you have it you qualify to be rescued. THAT's called making the outdoors accessible.

    I have a problem with saying this kid is responsible for a $25K bill. It's ridiculous for all those commenting here to claim they would "never go off trail" and that they would "never make that kind of judgement error". It just means you haven't tried anything resembling a tough mission.

    There's not a hiker or top mountaineer that I've ever heard of or talked to that hasn't made some stupid mistake along the way. That's called getting EXPERIENCE. And remember, we have basically a disneyworld version of the outdoors here with a controlled environment and trails that look like walkways. In MOST subalpine environments there are NO trails and people get lost ALL THE TIME. It's part of the experience.

    So net net, I think those posts that are saying the kid should have done this or that, must be written by some awesome route finders who have never gotten lost (or alternatively haven't ventured outside the confines of the appalachian trail). The real problem are these people in the state of New Hampshire trying to turn this thing into a revenue opportunity. They know very well that they could turn literally every rescue into a negligence claim. It disgusts me to think that a wrong turn in a white out could escalate into a courtroom discussion over whether there was "negligence" involved in trying to route find in zero viz in a snowstorm.

    I think it would be a better idea to focus the MWOBS on making sure these guys don't get anywhere with this and the kid gets left alone.

    Who's up for that ?

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