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Getting rescued, who should pay?

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Caz V1, May 26, 2008.

  1. following on from this story
    Who should be responsible for covering the costs?

  2. As per their interview Caz, their insurance will pay. They also said that if they get paid for their story, (some) of it will go the {search and rescue}.

    They sounded reasonable to me. Whenever I've been on a dive boat the crews have been paranoid about their counts once everyone is on board. But it sounded to me like the crew should have sent the dingy out in a proper search immediately, and then this wouldn't have been a problem. The crew would have known the direction of the currents in the area, and an excuse of "they were told not to go outside the lagoon" just doesn't get a hearing with me.

    As to your question, there is no doubt in my mind that we, the people, should pay, unless the individual(s) make a habit of requiring rescue, and then they should be made to contribute. Otherwise, one mistake requiring rescue could bankrupt some poor soul, which is hardly fair.
  3. +1 what Roderick said.
    How much of a user pays society should we become?
    Human life in these circumstances have no price and why should someone be bankrupted for being rescued?
    It may make them want to wish they were dead.
  4. I thought that the insurance only covers them from the time they were located :?
    As motorcyclists, we are forced to pay personal injury insurance for ourselves as well as others that may be involved, do you think other dangerous activities, that could lead to a disaster like this, be made to take out insurance like we have to?
  5. They had Dive insurance, which should cover rescue and all medical costs up to hospitalisation, unless they require special treatment, such as depressurisation for The Bends, which would be covered. At least that is my understanding.

    Most sensible people who travel overseas take out travel insurance, which covers some of this sort of stuff.

    As for insurance for everything else we do. Well, life is just a big series of risks. Most people who need rescue aren't doing anything particularly risky. Where was that guy lost recently. . . um, Little Desert I believe. Just camping out in the desert. Stuck for five days or something because his vehicle broke down. I've been there, and would have just radioed for help. He didn't take those precautions, but Little Desert isn't a high risk area.

    Quite a few people die in the Australian outback just because they have car trouble. The German woman who decided to try to walk out from Lake Eyre North when their combi van got stuck in sand. If she had known, it would have taken 10 minutes to get the van out, by letting air out of the tyres. Her partner survived because he stayed with the vehicle. Then there was the woman who died in WA not so long back (maybe a year now?) because she left the stranded vehicle when the two blokes who went for help didn't return after three days. The vehicle was found before any of the three of them were. Yes, stupid mistakes, but that makes no difference, unless they repeat them.

    There was a young bloke in the Blue Mountains some time back, on a bush walk on a made track. Slipped and fell over a cliff. It cost a fortune to get him back up, due to his location. Would you have checked his parent's credit rating before staring the rescue?

    Would you make all these people pay, when obviously they are not doing particularly "risky pastimes", but just make mistakes? I wouldn't.

    What if you went four wheel driving in the red centre (like I have, alone), someone thought you were lost and got the authorities to search for you. Should you pay then? Should the people who raised the alarm, given there was genuine concern?

    Besides, the rescue services need the practice to keep their skills up to date. :twisted:

    As Smee says, user pays is fine, up to a point.
  6. if people are making money out of it, ie, can sell their story then yes i believe they should pay. If they make no money, then money the no they shouldn't pay.

    Pretty simple really imo :)
  7. #7 Bravus, May 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2014
    Yeah, my only comment on this was that it's a short step on a slippery slope from 'We rescued you - now pay!' to 'You need rescue - can you pay?'

    'Thunderbirds are go! Did you remember the credit card thingy, Virgil?' ;)
  8. Oh man, that'd be hilarious. :LOL:
  9. It's retarded so save a couple of lives then put a price on them.

    ... but it's things like this that make having insurance worth while.
  10. Its good to see that they had travel/dive insurance.... but i think that the dive company were retards and should foot the insurance bill.*

    They are in a business that puts the public at risk and they are responsible for their customers, no matter what waiver is signed. I don't care if there is a line that explicity says "If you don't come back to the boat for some reason we reserve the right to leave you stranded in the ocean". The law finds negligence by simply comparing to what a 'reasonable' person would do; ie. a headcount, etc.

    I think that the fact they got paid for their story really is just compensation for their ordeal (which insurance won't pay them) and they should be allowed to choose to donate something to the organisations that rescued them. I expect they are full of gratitude to those services.

    *This is just my opinion. Cover your own arse cos no one else will. Results may vary.
  11. We've already got laws preventing people profiting from crime, why not laws preventing people profiting from things like this.
    After all if they can get paid out a million or so for this story there is a chance it'll encourage others to do something stupid/risky in the hope they might have a rescue story to sell too.
  12. The darwin effect will soon eliminate those people :p
  13. I think the military are underused for this sort of thing.
    And you can't tell me helicopter pilots won't benefit from a bit of extra experience in a tense situation, that might help in combat later - by performing a bit of search and rescue.

    Practice = good flying.

    Good flying = less crashes.

    Less crashes saves on million dollar bits of hardware.
  14. Exactly -what else would they be doing with their time? Sitting around reading porno's & getting full pay for it :) :)
  15. I've often thought that about animal culls as well. Kangeroo Island was over populated with koalas a few years back and they were looking for solutions. The shoulda sent in the army snipers to take out a few of the evil little bastards.

    but i digress..

    The cost is not based on how much a life is worth. It is based on the fuel for the search aircraft, wages of the rescue people etc etc.

    If the people who got rescued were at fault for getting left behind and then they profit from selling the story, then why shouldn't they pay at least some of the cost?
    If the dive boat operator were partly at fault, then perhaps they should contribute as well.
  16. The way I see it they went diving with a dive company. The reason for that is to be sure someone was taking responsibility, it should be the dive companies insurance covering it, not there’s. The dive company should not have left the location until they found them. The fact that they were left out there at all I would think would leave the dive company open to litigation from them as well.

    As for the bit about the military, I believe the military should be doing a lot more in this sort of thing, search and rescue, fire fighting. All because of the training value of it. They do assist in major fire scenarios, but as last resort, not as a planned part of the response.
  17. When Tony Bullimore got himself rescued from his capsized yacht (the first time :roll: ) the navy made the point that in rescuing him, all they had done was bring forward a standard training exercise by a couple of months. Many of the activities duplicated what they would have done regardless of whether it was real or not.
    Certain newspapers were calling for Bullimore to repay the 'millions of dollars of taxpayers money' supposedly wasted on saving his worthless pommy hide. But in fact those millions were also saved in not having to do the original planned training exercise.

    It does cost millions to build, train and maintain rescue services, but if you ask people to sign an agreement to foot the bill if THEY are in need of rescue (prior to any such event), you wouldn't get anyone volunteering to do so.

    This is collective risk management in action, just like insurance. If someone breaks a law and gets into strife, let them face a civil action to the extent that they are capable of paying. If it's just because shit happens - then we should just get over it. Or do we just need more rules?
  18. Mods. I did search, I thought I remembered a thread on Netrider about this but I couldn't find it. If it does exist already, my apologies.


    Police fed up with 'dumb' desert tourists

    Senior Constable Neale McShane has made about 20 mercy dashes across the unforgiving Simpson Desert in his time at Birdsville station.

    He rescues holidaymakers and travellers who have been caught in searing heat without food and water and nothing but sand dunes in sight.

    One word comes to mind when Constable McShane talks about many of those needing rescue: “Dumb”.

    He said on Thursday he was fed up with rescuing travellers who venture into the Simpson Desert ill-prepared and ignorant.

    Last Sunday, Constable McShane, a nurse and an ambulance officer drove for nine hours through the night to reach three motorbike riders stranded with just two litres of water each.

    The Victorian men, aged 42, 49 and 54, had set out from Mildura on a biking trip to Queensland, but one rider crashed and injured his back outside Birdsville. The group then activated an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon.

    “These guys were very poorly prepared, they had very little water with them - less than two litres each - they had no satellite phone [and] they had no UHF radios,” Constable McShane, the officer-in-charge of Birdsville police station, he said.

    “They had all their gear on the bikes – fuel, water, food, camping equipment, tools, spares – so the bikes were too laden.”

    A Dornier aircraft, which costs taxpayers $50,000 with each deployment, was dispatched from Melbourne to locate the trio.

    The plane dropped survival kits containing water, food, a satellite phone and radio to the bikers.

    “These containers have got smoke coming out of them to attract attention, they’ve got flashing lights and they also make a siren-type noise,” Constable McShane said.

    “So they dropped one container and two of the men walked over looked at it and then went back to camp. So the plane went back again and dropped another container, but the same thing happened.”

    After dropping a third container, the plane crew gave up.

    “The men didn’t even look inside the containers, which would have been handy for them, because it would have opened up lines of communication with Search and Rescue,” Constable McShane said.

    “They thought it was the rescuers dropping things so they would know that help was coming.”

    Constable McShane reached the riders at daybreak on Monday. The injured rider was flown to Birdsville by helicopter and then transferred to hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

    “The two who weren’t injured said they were going to keep going, but I said, ‘nup, the ride’s cancelled, you’re coming back to Birdsville with us’,” he said.

    “You’re not properly prepared, you’ve got no radio, no SAT phone, the EPIRB was out of batteries, or close to it.”

    Constable McShane said he kindly advised the riders to hone their preparation skills.

    “I think they thought it was a nice pleasant little drive across the desert,” he said.

    Constable McShane said between six and eight travelling parties are stranded in the desert each year.

    He estimated he had personally carried out more than 20 rescue operations in his eight years at Birdsville station.

    Some travellers are well-prepared, but unlucky.

    The majority, however, fail to take the proper precautions, putting themselves in danger.

    The human body can succumb to the elements of the harsh Australian outback in just three hours, according to survival instructor Nick Vroomans.

    Once core body temperature exceeds 40 degrees the blood thickens, stressing vital organs. Heat stroke follows and soon death.

    “It’s dangerous for us too, because you’re going over sandhill after sandhill and you’re travelling through the night. The nurse has to come out and there’s only one nurse in Birdsville,” Constable McShane said.

    “That takes the ambulance and the nurse out of Birdsville, plus the police officer.”

    Last year, Mauritz 'Mo' Pieterse, 25, perished less than 12 hours after becoming stranded in the desert, on Ethabuka Station.

    The South-African born passionate conservationist was experienced in the bush, according to his employer and his family, but a routine morning check of a bore site proved fatal for the 25-year-old station worker.

    He died after deciding to leave his vehicle and walk back to the station. He perished less than seven kilometres into his journey.

    Constable McShane has heard many an extraordinary survival story.

    One family was bogged for three days in the desert before activating their EPIRB.

    Another father and his two young teenage children ran out of fuel about 60 kilometres outside Birsdville. The trio was rescued by a passing vehicle, but not before they tried to walk five kilometres in 47 degree heat with only 600 millimetre water bottles.

    Others who have become bogged have been spotted by passing motorists by chance and rescued.

    “Those stories could have ended very differently,” he said.

    Mount Isa District Officer Inspector Trevor Kidd said driving in the outback came with a high risk.

    “Breaking down or having even a minor traffic crash can have very serious consequences when they occur hundreds of kilometres from the nearest help,” he said.

    “Drivers need to be as self sufficient as possible and ensure they carry the correct equipment to communicate with emergency service providers.”

    He said a satellite telephone and personal locator beacon were essential travel companions.

    “Don’t rely on mobile phones in the outback,” Inspector Kidd said.

    “You are likely to be out of range for some or most of your trip, depending on where you are going. A satellite phone is a real lifeline. If something goes wrong knowing what the situation is before we head out will enable us to better assist you.”

    Inspector Kidd said travellers also needed to give consideration to their type of vehicle.

    “If you are riding a motorbike it would be wise to consider having a support vehicle travelling with you,” he said.

    “Don’t underestimate the tyranny of distance. If something goes wrong help is literally hours and hours away.”

    Note: My Bold/Underline
  19. Edit: No, this (old) thread is not the story I was referring to which happened during the past week.

    And now, a reply to the comments from the Birdsville cop who, according to other stories is a genuine good sort. Make up your own mind as to where the truth lies.


    Stranded Simpson motorbike rider denies being ill-prepared

    A Victorian motorbike rider who was stranded in the Simpson Desert with dwindling water supplies has denied his party was ill-prepared.

    His comments come after the policeman who came to their rescue took aim at "dumb" tourists who got stuck in the remote area without food or water.

    Melbourne man Kevin Chapman and two friends were half way into a 10-day trip across the desert when he crashed his overloaded motorbike and injured his back last weekend.

    The trio travelled another 40 kilometres the next day, before deciding it was too difficult to go on.

    "My back was just really bad, and I was unable to get onto my bike at the end," the 42-year-old said.

    "So we decided it was too dangerous and decided not to keep going."

    Down to their last two litres of water each, they activated an emergency beacon on Sunday and started the long wait for help.

    "There might not have been another person on the track for a week or two, so it was certainly starting to look a bit scary," he said.

    A Dornier aircraft dispatched from Melbourne located the men about eight hours later and dropped survival kits containing water, food, a satellite phone and a radio to them.

    "Unfortunately, we didn't realise they were dropping water and supplies to us, we thought they were just dropping flares," Mr Chapman said.

    The men were eventually found on Monday morning by a police officer, ambulance officer and nurse from the town of Queensland town Birdsville, who drove through the night to find them.

    A helicopter then took Mr Chapman to Birdsville.

    Officer in charge of Birdsville police station, senior constable Neale McShane, said the men were poorly prepared and had placed themselves in danger by running so low on water.

    He also said he was fed up rescuing "dumb" holidaymakers who got caught in the desert without food and water.

    "It's a very remote area, so if something does happen to you, even with the right equipment, it's going to take hours or a day to get to you, so it's really important people carry the right gear," senior constable McShane said.

    "They should have had a satellite phone with them, so they could have said exactly what was going on and we could have just sent a helicopter."

    Mr Chapman, who has returned to Melbourne and is recovering from his back injury, denied they had been ill-prepared.

    "We're all very experienced riders, all with 30 years experience, and we spent about three months preparing things," he said.

    "We would have loved to have had a satellite phone, but we were under the impression it was a pretty easy route."

    However, Mr Chapman said he would organise a support crew, satellite phone and would carry less cargo on his bike if he was to attempt the ride again.
  20. Constable Mcshane needs to get a desk job.
    • Like Like x 1