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Nevada Governor to Bill Fossett Widow For Search

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-forget-to-tip-your-searcher dept.

The Almighty Buck 447

sonchat writes with news that Nevada's "Gov. Jim Gibbons intends to bill the widow of missing multimillionaire adventurer Steve Fossett for $687,000 the state spent in searching for the famed aviator last fall, a spokesman said." Though in some places charging for the cost of a search effort is routine, apparently in Nevada it is not.

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Though is some places? (2)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268198)

It is? Really?

Seriously, though, this is exceptionally lame. "We tried to find your husband.... and, uh, we didn't. All those helicopters, you know those aren't free..."

Re:Though is some places? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268260)

Some states and cities are getting that attitude.

Case in point, where I used to live, most of the county's traffic went through one particular city. The main road through that city was actually, at one time, one of the 10 most accident-prone roads in the US.

So, the city attempted to have a bill introduced: If you didn't have a registered residential address in that city, and you were involved in the accident (not even at fault, just involved) the total costs for the Sheriff's Dept., EMS, Fire Rescue, all of that would come out of the pocket of the non-resident.

It didn't pass. Actually this was the same city where the city government itself was almost dissolved and controlled by the County government.

Screwy place.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268340)

In my state (Washington) even if you are a resident of the city where you have an accident, the Fire Department is entitled to bill you for services rendered--this when you pay property taxes to support the fire department.

Re:Though is some places? (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268558)

The proper response is to stop funding them and let them run themselves like a business, then. I'm no libertarian, but when they try to be both a tax-supported service and a business enterprise - well, screw them.

Re:Though is some places? (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268352)

I'd consider that more of a grey area. Those people are paid specifically for traffic enforcement, cleanup, maintenance, etc, and the people who are in the accidents are liable for damages (through their insurance), and are on the road where they are supposed to be.

In cases like this where someone gets themselves lost, it's a lot less clear-cut. The state usually puts forth a ton of effort to find these people, and often they end up eating thousands of dollars of rescue costs racked up by some joker who didn't even take the most basic precautions.

This particular situation annoys me because he didn't tell anyone specifically where he was going, didn't have a radio beacon, didn't seem to have a radio, or didn't feel the need to use it when he got into trouble. That's irresponsible, but he can be assumed to have had a pretty good idea of what he was doing, and obviously was capable and experienced.

The ones that really jerk my chain are the people who have zero competence and zero experience who are constantly getting stuck on mountains, lost in national parks, stranded in the ocean, etc, etc, etc. They need to be held accountable for their lack of planning.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268590)

The ones that really jerk my chain are the people who have zero competence and zero experience who are constantly getting stuck on mountains, lost in national parks, stranded in the ocean, etc, etc, etc. They need to be held accountable for their lack of planning.
"We seem to have gotten a little lost on our Grand Canyon hike, but we can not afford the cost of a rescue helicopter. Let's just ignore our thirst and try to make it our ourselves. All it is is a little sunshine. What's the worst thing that could happen?"

Re:Though is some places? (1)

mshannon78660 (1030880) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268690)

As I recall (see here [] ), his plane was equipped with a beacon, but it likely failed. He also did have a radio, but was far enough away from anything that he probably wouldn't have been able to raise anyone on it (especially given the rugged terrai, which apparently is notorius for preventing long-range communications) - the radios in small planes generally have a fairly limited range, not more than a few hundred miles under the best of circumstances). To put into perspective just how rough and remote that area is, the article mentions that the search teams found eight(!) previously uncharted crash sites - some decades old - in the search area.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268266)

So you're advocating a sliding scale based on how much of him they found? Would you be arguing for them to pay if he HAD been found?

Those searches are insanely expensive, and 99% of the time they're needed because the person who gets lost fails to take precautions.

There is a point at which you need to take some responsibility for your own safety. You need to make sure people know where you're going, you need to make sure you can be found. Fossett did none of that, and cost the state a bundle looking for him.

I definitely think some reimbursement is in order.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

sleigher (961421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268402)

100 years ago your family and friends looked for you. Those that loved you. When exactly did it become the responsibility of the state to come look for me when I am lost? I think it's kinda weird. If I go get lost and die it is my problem. Why is the burden put on my family that I am an idiot? Children are another matter though.....

Re:Though is some places? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268440)

"When exactly did it become the responsibility of the state to come look for me when I am lost?"

At the same time it became the responsibility of teh state to protect you from crime.

Oh, wait, they DON'T have to do that? Well then WTF?

Re:Though is some places? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268460)

It's almost a truism that whenever a children get lost, more people die trying to find the children than there are children to be found.

Just human nature.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268504)

> So you're advocating a sliding scale based on how much of him they found?

We found him, ma'm; that will be 500,000.

Or, for 400,000, we could cut off a leg.

I found a piece! (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268588)

They should apply that principle to DB Cooper. If I found a finger bone, I could turn it in for $100!

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268288)

Especially since he didn't die. He flew off and then faked his own death for the insurance money.
he now lives on an island with Elvis, Jims Hendrix and Morrisson, Tupac, and Steve Irwin.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268510)

...lives on an island with Elvis, Jims Hendrix and Morrisson, Tupac, and Steve Irwin

Where they party every night with Herve Villechaize.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268330)

They could at least give some sort of money back guarantee, or work on contingency like lawyers do.

"Okay, here's the deal. We'll go look for your husband, and you don't have to pay us anything unless we find him. But if do find him, we get one third of his estate."

As far as she knows, they could have just flown some helicopters aimlessly around the desert for a couple of weeks and billed her for it. If the guy wasn't a billionaire, I doubt the idea of charging for the search would have ever entered their greedy little minds.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268414)

Then the poor family is stuck trying to figure out if they want him found or not, and the state has no motive to look hard, because they're not likely to get their money back.

In states that don't charge for rescues, the usual argument is that people wouldn't call if they needed rescue because they wouldn't want to pay. My thought is, if they REALLY needed rescue, they'd call.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268446)

The state's motive to look hard is that the emergency services are taxpayer funded and the taxpayers want to know that if they get in trouble, the emergency services will do their best to help them. If the state is going to be checking your credit before they decide to rescue you, then emergency services are useless. You would be faced with the choice of either not getting rescued or being faced with a bill that for most people would ruin them financially.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268500)

For the amount of searching that Fossett got, from a state where he didn't live, and didn't pay taxes, I'm finding it hard to be sympathetic. If you or I got lost, we'd never rate a million dollar search effort.

Privilege has its price.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

danzona (779560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268532)

I don't think you are too far off the mark on this.

According to Wikipedia (which is always right) they found 8 previously unknown (but non Fossett) crash sites while they were looking for him. It seems like they don't look very hard if they guy isn't rich.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268394)

Why not? You do something risky, why should the rest of us be on the hook for your rescue costs? Which occur whether the rescue succeeds or not. As TFA says, the state is short of cash. If they don't ask Mrs. Fossett for the money, it comes out of state programs or taxes. Considering the fact that the sum in question is a small percentage of the estate, and a fraction of what Fossett spent on any one of his many expensive stunts, I call this an ethical no-brainer.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268426)

Risk is a relative thing. Steve flying a light aircraft is like you or me going for a drive to the supermarket.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268566)

What's your point? Supermarket trips very rarely result in million-dollar search efforts.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268602)

Funny you should say that. Last time I got lost on the way to the market for some cheese and broccoli, the city launched a $50,000 search effort.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268702)

Just like going to the supermarket you carry personal injury insurance. If the fire dept, ambulance, etc bills you, generally the car insurance covers it. They have the same for boats and planes too. Being rich, I'd figure he has insurance to cover just this situation, the widow just needs to pass this on to the lawyers to handle.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268458)

This is a real douchebag move. I remember when Fossett disappeared, the search and rescue team was telling everyone that Fossett wasn't getting special treatment, that anyone lost in the desert would get the same treatment.

But a $600000 bill? Would just anyone lost in the desert get a bill, or is it because the widow can afford it? If Fossett wasn't getting treated differently during the search, he shouldn't be treated differently now.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268542)

I think that same bill would have gone to any other family too. But most municipalities have a hardship clause on such things. If they have to rescue from a raging river during a flash flood, you will probably get a bill for several thousands bucks, but won't have to pay it if you can sign an affidavit saying it would be an extreme hardship on your family. In this case, accepting that affidavit would constitute special treatment since there is no reasonable way to contend that this amount is much of a hardship on such a wealthy family.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

TheLostSamurai (1051736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268596)

the search and rescue team was telling everyone that Fossett wasn't getting special treatment, that anyone lost in the desert would get the same treatment.
And I think we all know how factual that statement is.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

MichaelJ (140077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268556)

It is. In New Hampshire due to an unreasonable spate of unprepared hikers and calling for rescue, if you are found to have been inadequately prepared or done something extraordinarily stupid (and believe me, they do pull some whoppers), you will be be billed for the cost of your rescue. Some people think that a cell phone will get them out of any danger. They head into the mountains with no map, no light, inadequate gear, sometimes not even any food or water. When they get stuck somewhere, lost, or even just find themselves in the dark because they didn't turn around when they should have, they grab the phone and call for help. These are the intended payers-up, not the poor guy who trips and breaks his ankle, or the woman who has an allergic reaction to a sting.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268560)

Well, they aren't free. This is pretty standard practice in a lot of places. The runaway bride here in Atlanta had to pay the county back for her search. It's a sad situation for sure, but somebody has to pay for it and it shouldn't be the taxpayers.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268668)

I can't speak for all municipalities, but in my county the search & rescue team is an all volunteer operation. Their funding comes from copious fund-raisers throughout the year. All the their equipment is donated and nobody gets a salary. It's mostly young people in college working for college credit.

Re:Though is some places? (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268582)

Here, anyways, the state picks up the bill for good-faith search efforts.

Bad faith is like the woman a few years back who got drunk on a boat less than a mile away from the city and sent out a drunken m'aidez call. She had to pick up the ( hefty ) SaR bill on top of the normal penalties

Re:Though is some places? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268688)

Considering that much of the search was done by the Civil Air Patrol (funded by the Air Force), I see this as just a way for the state to get some free cash.

You should probably fix your typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268222)

in some places, not is some places

Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268224)

I mean, how often does anybody actually survive a plane crash?

This is the equivalent of spending $600,000 on searching for someone who fell off the edge of the Grand Canyon!

Re:Makes Sense (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268290)

I mean, how often does anybody actually survive a plane crash?
Statistically speaking based on all recorded airplane crashes, you have roughly 50% chance of survival. Those odds go down if you are in the front of the plane (about 40% survival rate) vs back of the place (about 60%) - makes you think twice about that first class seat, doesn't it.

Re:Makes Sense (1)

es330td (964170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268676)

You're using the wrong stats. He was flying in a single engine general aviation plane, not a commercial jet flight. The crash fatality rate in GA is about 19%. The odds were 4-1 in his favor that he lived and given the terrain in which he was flying he should have had no problem finding level ground on which to land. Unless his plane crashed because of some catastrophic structural failure, if they ever find his body I would not be surprised to hear that he did not die of injuries sustained in the landing.

Re:Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268692)

First class get preferential treatment at heaven's gate too? Nice.

Re:Makes Sense (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268454)

There are many different ways in which a plane can crash, they don't all involve a high-speed death spiral into the ground from 30,000ft. Even in the case of total engine failure, a plane basically just becomes a glider, which isn't an inherently uncontrollable craft. A competent pilot would likely be able to control their descent reasonably well in such a case, and even make a good safe landing if an appropriate stretch of ground is nearby. But if you happen to be flying over mountains or something else unforgiving, you're in for a crash. But it isn't necessarily going to be a fireball of death type crash. You're probably relying a whole lot on luck in that case.

Re:Makes Sense (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268518)

I mean, how often does anybody actually survive a plane crash?
It depends on how you define crash. If you hit hard and break your landing gear and prop, is that a crash? Flip a Piper Cub over at 10 mph? Neither `crash' is likely to kill people.

In any event, nobody knew if Fossett crashed. At the time, the hope was that he'd landed somewhere and was having a hard time getting somebody to find him (though his ELT should prevent that.)

Have to inform my loved ones (1)

Nodar (821035) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268230)

That I feel I'm confident enough in my ability to survive most situations. Enough so that I would rather they not send a search party out for me, cause if I don't show up in a day or two, then I'm dead, and they are wasting money.

Re:Have to inform my loved ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268280)

I don't know why but that reminds me of the Simpsons. The image of someone with their foot trapped under a rock or something.

"I tried to gnaw off my foot, but I couldn't get through my sock"

Re:Have to inform my loved ones (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268366)

That I feel I'm confident enough in my ability to survive most situations. Enough so that I would rather they not send a search party out for me, cause if I don't show up in a day or two, then I'm dead, and they are wasting money.
There are a lot of cases where people are found after a week or two still alive (sometimes barely) - The recent case of that CNET editor comes to mind - his family was found after a few weeks, and he would have survived if he stayed with them too. But if they would have called off search - they would have all died. I wonder if they were billed for the rescue...

Anyway, you might want to give up on yourself after a few days, but if *I* am LOST, just keep on searching. I could care less how much it costs.


Re:Have to inform my loved ones (2, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268638)

I could care less how much it costs.
My wife would insist on a preliminary estimate.

Re:Have to inform my loved ones (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268416)

Oh please. Can you make food magically appear, no matter where you are?

Re:Have to inform my loved ones (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268628)

Most people can easily go a week without food. Not comfortable, but not a problem.

A day or two without water isn't that big a deal either, unless you are in extreme heat.

Cat got your tongue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268246)

Anyone else read the title as "Nevada governor to Bill Fossett widow for search" tried to figure out what the hell that meant?

Charge.. easy word, much more sensible (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268300)

I don't know anyone named Charge, but I know more than a few Bills. Unfortunately I don't have enough bills in my wallet. Never did care for the Buffalo Bills.

Re:Cat got your tongue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268358)

Yeah, that has to win some kind of confusing headline award. Who is Bill Fossett? And then what the hell does that sentence mean? Just another example of the top-notch editing we get here.

Re:Cat got your tongue? (1)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268672)

Yeah, I kept parsing it as "Nevada governor to Bill Fossett [is a] widow for search."

Budget smudget (2, Interesting)

drquoz (1199407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268282)

This is just plain awful. I'm sure she's going through enough without this added on top of everything. Shouldn't be charging anybody, especially the widow.

Re:Budget smudget (2)

daveywest (937112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268360)

I live in Nevada, so I think my opinion ought to count for something.

Not to be heartless, but the guy was known for adventuring -- or in other words -- endangering his own life for thrills. He flaunted standard safety protocols for entertainment, and lost his life for it.

And lets not forget he had the financial resources to undertake these adventures.

Even in death, he should pay to clean up the mess he left.

Re:Budget smudget (2, Insightful)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268502)

While I think you have some legitimate points, lets not forget that, unless the state contracted outside of its normal search and rescue crews, the resources to search for the guy were already functioning and operational.

I would be curious to see how much additional expense was really accrued. The fact that the money to pay for the operation (fuel, wear and tear on equipment, salaries, etc) came from the "Search and Rescue" budget (I do not really know their specific accounting practices) rather than the maintenance, training, and personnel budgets do not mean that the tax-payer ACTUALLY incurred additional costs.

Re:Budget smudget (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268364)

Well, Saddam Hussein billed executionee's families for bullets used to put them down...

Re:Budget smudget (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268478)

You are reacting to the flame-y headline. It should have read that Fosset's ESTATE would be billed. The guy had a metric fuckton of money - it's not like she's some woebegone character handling her husbands affairs alone.

Re:Budget smudget (1)

drquoz (1199407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268576)

Yeah, right after I posted I thought "oh wait, this guy was rich, wasn't he?" Good old flame-y headlines.

I can understand... (4, Insightful)

tamuct01 (726718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268286)

...if this was some wild goosechase. I mean that if you fraudulently sent the Police, etc. looking for someone, then you should be billed for it. But if it was a legitimate missing persons/accident, etc. as it appears to be in Fossett's case, then the next of kin should not be billed for the expense.

If this is true... (1)

syntaxeater (1070272) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268292)

There needs to be paperwork available for this; along the same lines of the "do not resuscitate" and "do not keep me on life support."

Who requested an all-out search? (1)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268294)

It just seems ridiculous to be billed for a matter you had no control over. Who makes the judgement call on how big of a search party and how long to look for? I have a hard time believing this is going to actually end up happening. Unless someone makes a habit of getting lost and repeatedly needing to be rescued, it should remain a taxpayer funded service.

Re:Who requested an all-out search? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268466)

Dear customer,

Your letter was lost in the mail. We searched and searched, but didn't find it. As a result, we're going to bill you for half a billion dollars. If we find the letter and discover any money in it, we'll keep that that as well. And if there's anything blackmailable in it...

Farking comments (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268302)

There's already a good discussion about this going on over at fark [] .

It sounds like the issue may be related to him not being a taxpayer in Nevada and the governor not wanting to force the taxpayers to foot the bill.

Re:Farking comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268398)

We all know it's just because they have the money to pay the bill. Doesn't matter what state he payed taxes in, he probably payed a shit-ton anyway.

If some regular person was lost in another state do you think their family would be forced into bankruptcy because of it?

Re:Farking comments (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268418)

Yes, it makes perfect sense to charge non-residents for things like this in a state where the vast majority of the economy is based on tourism. I'd certainly be more likely to take a vacation somewhere if I knew I'd get a huge bill from the government if I got lost.

Not really so different (1)

TXISDude (1171607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268348)

Ever get picked up by EMS from your local fire department and transported to the hospital? Well, when it happens, expect a bill, and it is a bit more than a normal taxi. And so it should - these services cost money and to expect tax dollars to cover them 100% is not reasonable. That being said, if you don't have the dollars, I have never heard of EMS or another governmental agency not writing it off. The challenge is one of what is reasonable - assume that you think 3 days is reasonable search and rescue - but the state continues for 10 days - what part do you pay for? And if you wan tto call it off early - what does that say? Big can of worms this simple thing can become. But bottom line - you use services, you should pay within reason. That way we can afford to have them when we need them. Hint - check your insurance policy, mine covers this.

Re:Not really so different (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268648)

What if you can't or don't want to pay? It's unlawful to deny first aid services based on somebody's ability to pay.

Re:Not really so different (1)

TXISDude (1171607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268696)

Just as we do in emergency rooms and the transport case - do the work, collect (if possible later). I have never heard of someone not getting emergency services based on finances - that would not fly at all. There is debate over whether illegal immigrants should get emergency services, and even among hardcore kick them out of the country types, the general thought is - give serivces based on emergency needs, then kick them out. So financial abiility doesn't have an up-front connection to services.

News Flash (1)

kaan (88626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268372)

Widow of missing multimillionaire adventurer Steve Fosset IS NOW MISSING TOO

State agencies are mounting a search party, in part because she's lost, but more importantly because she's lost and still owes them money.

There are reports coming in that their children, legal heirs to property and debts, are also believed missing.

This seems a bit harsh. (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268384)

Do we bill airlines for rescue/recovery when their planes crash? Seagoing cruise lines?

Why stop here? Heart attack on a public street requiring EMTs? That's a billin'. Cops respond to a home invasion? Hey, them SWAT teams ain't free.

Re:This seems a bit harsh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268462)

The ownership society in action.

Re:This seems a bit harsh. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268514)

Heart attack on a public street requiring EMTs? That's a billin'

Yeah, that is.

Re:This seems a bit harsh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268606)

Where do you live? Where I live, EMT services are only billed for unfounded calls.

Re:This seems a bit harsh. (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268552)

Actually, If you have a heart attack you will be given a bill. If you have insurance, they pay; if you don't, it typically gets written off. As for airlines and cruise ships, I believe they do get charged for accident cleanup, etc.

There is also order of magnitude here. Picking you up in an ambulance is a 4 digit expense. Searching for you with helicopters and rescue parties for days and days is WAYYY more expensive.

I don't like the precedent... (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268406)

While I'm sure this woman has the money to cover this just from control of assets, I don't like the precedent it sets; what if this happens to someone that CAN'T foot the bill?

Losing someone is strike one. Having to pay for the search is strike two. All of that happening AND being in debt for the rest of your life? That's not tolerable, in my opinion... and I have no faith in any government - national or local - to see through the red tape for people that can't necessarily handle the cost.

Re:I don't like the precedent... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268486)

They're only asking, because she can pay. If she couldn't pay, they wouldn't be asking.

Reasonable for people to pay, and ways to prepay (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268490)

I go hiking a lot in Colorado - so I purchased theColorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue [] card.

In Colorado at least, if they have to come looking for you, you DO get billed for search costs. The card insures that search costs are paid by the fund, not you - and it costs only $12 every five years! They state on the page tself it's not insurance, but search costs can get expensive and this means a world of dfference for someone like you say who may not be well off.

You can't just have search costs be free, as that encourages reckless behavior. As long as you have some way to offset that for the needy or people that can plan ahead I don't see a problem with asking people to ay for searches.

Extreme sports and assuming your own risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268420)

People enjoy thier fringe and extreme sports. Thats is fine. But when they are out of bounds of standard community services while playing, it seems ridiculous that the taxpayers foot the bill.

Playing in the outdoors is not without risks. Perhaps those who play should have insurance to cover such rescue operations or a waiver so that it's acceptable for the local support services to stand down.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, theres regularly stories of outdoor sports enthusiasts who excercise poor judgment which requires mobilization of resources to quench the fire lit by local TV stations parading the people's loved ones for hype. In the not too distant past a helicopter was downed on Mt. Hood during a rescue of 911 firefighters who were on a risky elective trek. This was completely avoidable by assessing the risk to themselves and then TAKING into account the risk to OTHERS if there was an emergency... then maybe weighing it out that they might be willing to put thier own lives on the line, but shouldnt expect that others should come and save them from thier own foolish bravado choices.

In this case, he didnt need to be flying solo, he just liked it. The family cheered him on thoughtout his career and shouldnt expect a free rescue from cthulhu knows where bfe...

Locator transmitters (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268422)

Don't have to be powerful.

All planes and boats should have one.

And every outdoor adventurer should use one too.


Re:Locator transmitters (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268512)

Don't have to be powerful.

All planes and boats should have one.

And every outdoor adventurer should use one too.
I believe Steve had a watch based personal locator beacon, although people were not sure if he had it on him.


Re:Locator transmitters (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268592)

Every FAA-registered aircraft does have one. Every boat venturing more than three (maybe six) miles offshore has to have one.

They don't always work.

AFAIK Fossett was piloting a Bellanca, which is heavy enough that it would have to be FAA-registered.

Got weath? Okay (1)

lanner (107308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268430)

Due to the large amount of wealth that this family has access to, I don't see a problem here. If it was someone else without access to such large resources, I could understand this being a problem. They can definitely afford it. After all, what was the guy doing? Recreational flying.

Re:Got weath? Okay (1)

The Raven (30575) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268494)

So, you're saying the bill should be proportional to the wealth? So it's ok to give you a $1000 bill if your wife goes missing? A $10,000 bill if the husband in the big house up the hill goes missing? A $1,000,000,000 bill if Bill G goes missing?

Fuck that. The law should treat people equally, independent of their money. That's the idea we should be striving for at least. Fucking over a widow just because she has cash is really low.

Re:Got weath? Okay (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268616)

How much will it cost me for my mother-in-law to go missing? I'm willing to take out a loan.

Oh, millionaire you say? (1)

The Raven (30575) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268452)

Well, she can obviously afford it now, can't she?

Seriously though, what kind of brain dead cop would do something like this? You can't ask for worse press than billing a widow for the loss of her husband!

Re:Oh, millionaire you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268544)

You can't ask for worse press than billing a widow for the loss of her husband!
I hear that in China they send execution bills to the families of political prisoners.

I think billing a widow for killing her husband would be worse...

Where are my tax dollars going (1)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268464)

Next, you will want me to pay my share to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Oh wait every, on the books, wage earning American does through taxes. If I were her i would send the Governor a nice little letter thanking him for using my tax dollars to search for my husband. The state provided the service just like they keep my roads pave. Since when is a state a business?

oh joy (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268488)

Welcome to capitalism, baby.

But seriously, if she pays the bill, she should also bill them (or sue for) an amount for services rendered; as I recall, numerous other crashes and oddities were uncovered in the search, despite not finding Fossett.


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268506)

That's pretty harsh.

She volunteered to pay 200K already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268524)

Which either makes her an easy mark or implies that she was willing to pay to continue the search past the point at which authorities may have wanted to stop.

At first, this sounds bad, but there may be more to the story than we know.

In any case, the standards for providing state services shouldn't ever be based on shaking down rich people or providing public servants as Pinkertons for rich people unless the taxpayers and voters want this for some reason (or possibly it helps turn a buck for otherwise unused/underutilized personel).

John McCain: Go Back To North Vietnam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268538)

I know surprisingly little about John McCain. I know nothing about his background or lineage. I do not know where McCain was educated or what he has done besides create a McCain-centric society in which dangerous lounge lizards dictate the populace's values and myths, its traditions and archetypes. Nevertheless, I can tell you all that you need to know about McCain. Before I launch into my main topic, I want to make a few matters crystal-clear: (1) McCain's nostrums carry multiple connotations, ranging from the deranged (they shatter and ultimately destroy our most precious possessions) to the vainglorious (they vandalize our neighborhoods), and (2) as a result of that, McCain has no conception of our moral and ethical standards. Now that you know where I stand on those issues, I can safely say that I have a dream that my children will be able to live in a world filled with open spaces and beautiful wilderness -- not in a dark, careless world run by barbaric, stolid feral-types. I doubtlessly feel that he has insulted everyone with even the slightest moral commitment. McCain obviously has none or he wouldn't attack everyone else's beliefs.

McCain gained ascendancy through monstrous abuse of his cronies. That should serve as the final, ultimate, irrefutable proof that he insists that his debauches are the result of a high-minded urge to do sociological research. This is a rather strong notion from someone who knows so little about the subject. This moral issue will eventually be rendered academic by the fact that on a television program last night, I heard one of this country's top scientists conclude that, "The older McCain gets, the more goofy he becomes." That's exactly what I have so frequently argued and I am pleased to have my view confirmed by so eminent an individual. He has a staggering number of ostentatious lapdogs. One way to lower their numbers, if not eradicate them entirely, is simple. We just inform them that there are two related questions in this matter. The first is to what extent he has tried to threaten national security. The other is whether or not McCain is extremely chauvinistic. In fact, my handy-dandy Chauvinistic-O-Meter confirms that McCain constantly insists that the sky is falling. But he contradicts himself when he says that granting him complete control over our lives is as important as breathing air.

Here are a few points to ponder:

      1. McCain's ideas are a masterpiece of dishonest frotteurism.
      2. McCain's rejoinders violate the rational, enlightened claims of their own enunciatory modality.
      3. McCain's "subjugate persons of culture, refinement, and learning to anal-retentive, presumptuous crackpots" mentality is so pervasive that I feel like I'm going to roll over and play dead.

Those points may at first seem unrelated but when you connect the dots it becomes clear that it is more than a purely historical question to ask, "How did McCain's reign of terror start?" or even the more urgent question, "How might it end?". No, we must ask, "Will McCain's animal cunning, arrogance, greed, and self-aggrandizement grant McCain a final victory over humanity?" We must definitely ask ourselves questions like that before it's too late, before McCain gets the opportunity to use cheap, intemperate propaganda to arouse the passions of truculent apostates. The theoretical fallacies in his maneuvers run deep. This is all well and good, but he, already oppressive with his indelicate tirades, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species -- if separate species we be -- for his reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world. If you think that that's a frightening thought then consider that McCain's indiscretions are worse than the Black Death of olden times, and everyone with half a brain understands that.

The simple, regrettable truth is that McCain keeps stating over and over again that there is something intellectually provocative in the tired rehashing of sinister stereotypes. This drumbeat refrain is clearly not consistent with the facts on the ground -- facts such as that I honestly hate it when splenetic mob bosses like McCain go on with such vigor about subjects they don't even know about. But there's the rub; McCain says that he wants to make life better for everyone. Lacking a coherent ideology, however, McCain always ends up making my blood curdle.

It's raving hell-raisers like McCain that fuel the censorship-and-intolerance crowd. Now, I could go off on that point alone, but time cannot change his behavior. Time merely enlarges the field in which McCain can, with ever-increasing intensity and thoroughness, inculcate the hermeneutics of suspicion in otherwise open-minded people.

Whether you call it "irreligionism", "Dadaism", or "wowserism", it is alive and well in McCain's disquisitions. It's what convinced me that McCain occasionally shows what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion. You should realize, however, that these positive expressions are more feigned than experienced and invariably serve an ulterior motive, such as to fund a vast web of repulsive contumelious-types, antihumanist shirkers, and prolix, impractical autocrats. My purpose is to shelter initially unpopular truths from suppression, enabling them to ultimately win out through competition in the marketplace of ideas. Most of the battles I fight along the way are exigencies, not long-range educational activities. Nevertheless, he's causing all sorts of problems for us. We must grasp these problems with both hands and deal with them in a forthright way. McCain's apparatchiks tend to fall into the mistaken belief that deconstructionism is a be-all, end-all system that should be forcefully imposed upon us, mainly because they live inside a McCain-generated illusion-world and talk only with each other.

Ten years ago, it was unambitious, invidious misfits. Today, it's oppressive, foul-mouthed serpents who dupe people into believing that McCain is a spokesman for God. An ancient Greek once wrote something to the effect of, "I don't need to do a lot of research to be confident in stating that his coterie is a distant cousin of the communist political organizations that were responsible for the murders of at least 90 million people." Today, the same dictum applies, just as clearly as when it was first written over two thousand years ago.

You might have heard the story that McCain once agreed to help us ring the bells of truth. No one has located the document in which McCain said that. No one has identified when or where McCain said that. That's because he never said it. As you might have suspected, if McCain's thinking were cerebral rather than glandular, he wouldn't consider it such a good idea to create a factitious demand for his self-centered antics.

Just think: I have a scientist's respect for objective truth. That's why I'm telling you that while McCain insists that anyone who resists him deserves to be crushed, reality dictates otherwise. Actually, if you want a real dose of reality, look at how inherent in our legal construction of radicalism is the notion that I still believe in duty, honor, and country. But you knew that already. So let me add that McCain has had some success in turning the trickle of particularism into a tidal wave. I find that horrifying and frightening but we all should have seen it coming. We all knew that when McCain says that embracing a system of fanaticism will make everything right with the world, in his mind, that's supposed to end the argument. It's like he believes he has said something very profound.

According to McCain, most people believe that he is a perpetual victim of injustice. Really? Does McCain have some sort of mind-reading ability or did he get his information from a less reliable source? To answer that question, we need first to consider McCain's thought process, which generally takes the following form: (1) We can all live together happily without laws, like the members of some 1960s-style dope-smoking commune, so (2) he can convince criminals to fill out an application form before committing a crime. Therefore, (3) I'm too overbearing to free people from the spell of masochism that he has cast over them and thus, (4) his memoirs epitomize wholesome family entertainment. As you can see, McCain's reasoning makes no sense, which leads me to believe that I oppose his expositions because they are self-righteous. I oppose them because they are patronizing. And I oppose them because they will make bargains with the devil any day now. Although John McCain feeds on our goodwill like worms feed on buried corpses, we are here to gain our voice in this world, and whether or not he approves, we will continue to be heard.

Good! Why should we pay? (1)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268568)

If people want to take extreme risks, they can do so at their own expense. They shouldn't expect the rest of us to foot the bill if their adventure doesn't go according to plan.

Good for them for charging the estate, exactly correct.

Since they didnt find him.. (1)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268570)

maybe she can get a refund?

I'm confused... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268580)

Did she ask the state to search for her husband? If so, then a bill may be appropriate, otherwise "Thank you for the gift, Mr. Governor".

In other news (4, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268586)

The US government has decided to send the $3Trillion bill to Iraq for the search and rescue of the weapons of mass destructions (WMDs) even though the lost WMDs were never located.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

InSovietRussiaTroll (1282606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268594)

The party bills you!

wtf, mate (1)

BeanEstimator (1226506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268612)

this makes no sense to me...normally you bill for search and rescue in situations where the person *deliberately* put themselves in harms way, disregarding advice or warnings to the contrary. for example, billing a skier who goes out of bounds on a ski resort mtn...if you have to send in a heli to go get them, or a patrol team - bill for the manpower and resources. fair enough. are we going to start billing all the relatives of people lost at sea? is it their fault they got in a boat?

Contract ? (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268618)

This is stupid.. unless she was told "we'll search, but you have to pay", BEFORE they searched.

This was also a high profile media fiasco.. the average joe, would not have had such an extensive search done.. and if she is charged, it should be based upon the costs of previous efforts.. that they spent extra time "doing the job" is on them.

It's voluntary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268654)

According to this article, the payment is voluntary:

Necessary Pulp Fiction Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23268662)

"Though is some places, charging for the cost of a search effort is routine"


wow (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268698)

Just wow. I guess Nevada's governor has read one too many RIAA business howtos...

I think we could cover this ourselves. (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 6 years ago | (#23268716)

If 10000 people send a check to the governor for $6.87, the bill could be paid in a hurry. In fact, I'll send in $68.70 just to get it off to a good start.
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