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Poll: Who should cover the cost of rescuing a lost hiker?

by AirTalk®

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An Orange County Fire Authority helicopter takes off to assist in the search for Kyndall Jack, the 18-year-old hiker who was lost while hiking in the Cleveland National Forest. Ben Bergman/KPCC

It took four days and services from six agencies to rescue Kyndall Jack and Nicolas Cendoya, the two teens who got lost in Trabuco Canyon in April. The tab of the rescue is calculated to be over $160,000 and officials are saying they won’t be billed for the rescue. An Orange County reserve deputy fell 60 feet during the rescue. And yesterday, one of the two teenageers was charged with felony methamphetamine possession.

“Why do I have to pay for someone’s negligence?" Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer told NBC LA. "We want government services when accidents happen. We don't want people to pay for government services when 'on purposes' happen.” Spitzer has launched an investigation looking into whether the teens should be held liable.

Should taxpayers foot the bill for these costly rescues? Should hikers be held responsible financially?


Steve Casimiro, editor of Adventure Journal, an online adventure magazine.

Todd Spitzer, Orange County Supervisor.

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