This past weekend, not one but two groups of snowboarders got lost while riding the gnarly backside of Maine's Sugarloaf ski resort. Five snowboarders ducked the ropes Friday and were rescued later that night. Four more went out of bounds Sunday and were rescued Monday. Now Sugarloaf plans to stick the snowboarders with the bill, according to the Associated Press.
I get that Sugarloaf wants to deter dumbasses from recklessly getting lost, calling in the cavalry, and endangering rescuers. But is sticking victims with their rescue bill ethical, whether they were being idiots or not? If it is ethical, is it well-advised?
One of the problems I see with charging people for their own rescues is that in the future, people in danger will wait even longer to call for help. That means that they could not only put themselves in more peril but also their rescuers. And does charging for rescues really deter people from getting lost? It's not like they did it on purpose.