A current rescue operation performed by the U.S. Shore Guard has renewed a longstanding debate over who need to pick up the tab for such missions. The existing conversation came about after the USCC retrieved stranded kayaker Cyril Derreumaux ago on June 6. At the time, Derreumaux to be attempting come paddle more than 2400 nautical miles (4444 km) from California to Hawaii board a custom developed kayak. But just a few days into his journey, that was compelled to speak to for aid, having actually covered about 70 miles.

These species of rescues are conducted every one of the time. In fact, the shore Guard claims that it saves an typical of 3560 stays on an yearly basis. But what has lugged so lot scrutiny come this certain operation is the price tags that has actually come together with it and also the reality that Derreumaux to be attempting together a an overwhelming and dangerous cross without any type of kind of safety and security net.

Photo Credit: Tom Gomes

Kayaking the Pacific

We covered Derreumaux’s effort to cross the Pacific, and also his succeeding rescue, as it unfolded last month. His goal to be to repeat the just solo and also unsupported cross from California to Hawaii in Kayak, i m sorry was effectively completed in 1987 through a male named Ed Gillett. Derreumaux began that journey in san Francisco on might 31, making an excellent progress in the first couple of days.

However, not lengthy after he set out, the veteran kayaker began to run into trouble. Strong winds and ocean currents slowed his progression to a crawl and by June 4 he was no longer moving forward at all. It to be at this point that the deployed his sea anchor—a unique tool supplied by ocean rowers to host their watercrafts in place—while he all set to wait for problems to improve.

The sea anchor organized Derreumaux’s kayak in place for more than 2 days, however the rough ocean waters were having actually a established effect ~ above his health. So, on June 6 he referred to as for a rescue, through the coastline Guard launching an operation to bring him home safely.

Photo Credit: U.S. Coastline Guard

A $42,000 Rescue

According to a brand-new release native the coast Guard, the call for aid came in in ~ 9:42 PM local time with a rescue helicopter gift dispatched from san Francisco in ~ 10:25 PM. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter reached Derreumaux’s position at 12:39 am on June 7. Shortly thereafter, the stranded kayaker was hoisted from his boat and brought board the aircraft, supposedly in good condition.

“Recognizing the the situation was past his capabilities and calling for assistance permitted our crews to reach him gradually for a successful rescue,” coast Guard spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll stated in the push release. “This shows that also experienced mariners with proper safety equipment can acquire into trouble on the ocean, i m sorry is why having the appropriate equipment and also knowing when and how to use it is so important.”

However, dispute soon complied with when it to be revealed that the cost for the rescue operation was $42,335.97. That’s the breakdown of the price for paying the rescue crew—including a pilot, co-pilot, and an initial responders—as well as trip time ~ above the helicopter, aircraft fuel, and also some assorted supplies offered on the mission.

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#UPDATE Hoist clip of the #USCG crews rescuing kayaker 70 mile west of Santa Cruz, Sunday morning. Read more at: https://t.co/xi1z3sZPIN pic.twitter.com/j5296l1WsP

— USCGPacificSouthwest (

Who payment the Bill?

Unsurprisingly, the price of the rescue operation has sparked some conflict on social media, v a number of people asking that covers the invoice for the rescue? In this case, the $42,000 cost originates from the coast Guards annual budget, i m sorry is mainly funded by taxpayer dollars. That spending plan is much more than $1 billion annually and is meant particularly for conducting these kinds of operations.

Derreumaux has uncovered his fair share of defenders and also detractors. Those who support him say the this is what the government should it is in doing with taxpayer money, using it to aid those in need. Others see it together a garbage of money and wonder why the kayaker didn’t currently have a back-up arrangement in ar in case he ran right into trouble. The truth that that was just on the water for about six days hasn’t assisted his cause. If this rescue would have actually needed come be conducted further the end to sea, that would have actually been an ext costly and dangerous in just around every way.

For there part, the shore Guard has indicated that the men and also women aboard the helicopter were only doing the project they have actually trained for. A spokesperson for the USCC says that there was never any kind of danger to the plane or those plank it and that these type of rescues space why the shore Guard exists in the first place.

A ancient Debate

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the dispute over who picks increase the tab for rescue operations, nor will it it is in the last. Whether it is airlifting mountaineers native a far-off peak, in search of backcountry skiers in adhering to an avalanche, or assisting backpackers ~ above a far trail, who will constantly be the town hall the bottomline. There room many world who believe these adventurous quests are frivolous and also dangerous, so spending money ~ above a rescue is a garbage of funds. Because they would never undertake these kinds of tasks themselves, castle don’t want to help those that do.

On the various other hand, those of us who are a bit much more adventurous and also like to undertaking into the far corners of our planet might probably take it a bit more added obligation too. Having actually rescue insurance money in ar for those “just in case” moments is a good idea, allowing us to not only contact for proper assistance, yet make sure search and rescue operations space paid for too. Save in mental that not all SAR teams are consisted of of paid experts like the coastline Guard, v many people serving in a volunteer capacity.

If nothing else, Derreumaux’s story helps to underscore the these rescue operations aren’t complimentary and room in fact quite costly. Still, most of us space happy to know that these services exist and also that someone has our earlier should an emergency instance arise. It likewise reaffirms that people as a types generally desire to aid each other out, also in times of great danger.

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Most of us probably wouldn’t want to live in a location where that could not be true.