Search and Rescue team leaders in New Zealand are reporting that lost hikers and tourists will often hide from rescuers for fear of having to pay for rescue efforts. It costs about $3500 to scramble a helicopter to rescue someone, but New Zealand doesn’t have any laws requiring the person being rescued to pay the bill.
In a number of other places, particularly in Europe and The United States, the person being rescued are often billed for the resources used in rescuing them. Officials in New Zealand are saying that when visitors from other countries venture into their backcountry, and become lost, they will avoid rescue teams for fear of these bills.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m lost, I think I’ll take the help, if you don’t mind much. What do these people think? If they hide they can follow the rescue team back to civilization? Or do the just plan to stay out there forever?
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