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Guess Who Gets to Pay for the Rescue of a 1 Year Old in the Ocean?

Jeff Mitchell, Getty Images

Over the weekend, the United States Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and California Air National Guard rescued a sick 1-year-old child from a disabled sailboat in the deep seas of the Pacific Ocean. This family of four was in the midst of sailing around the world in their sailboat when it lost power and shortly thereafter one of the children became ill.

The distress call was made and the rescue ensued with divers entering the ocean to get to the boat from a helicopter to assist the child. They provided medical attention for the three year old and waited for a Navy ship to make its way to them.

The child and family is fine but two questions beg to be asked, so I will ask them. Why would you take your family around the world in a sailboat with two little kids on board? And secondly, who gets to pay for the rescue effort of these three agencies including ships sailing to the scene, helicopters flying there as well and divers risking their lives in the ocean?

I have no answer for the first question. I do know the answer for the second question and that is you and I will pay the bill for it. According to a report on CBS and aired on KHQA locally, it is a requirement of the armed services to respond to emergencies without reimbursement. The thinking is that people with emergencies would not contact authorities if they knew that they had to pay for their own rescue. So basically, if you need rescuing from the Mississippi River or Mark Twain Lake this summer, your rescue will be most likely be free of charge.

So here is an apparent affluent family, that can afford a sailboat and has the ability to sail around the world, that has to be rescued and doesn’t have to pay a dime for it. Only in America!

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