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Search For Missing NFL Boaters Cost $1.6 Million

You can't put a price on the joy that comes from rescuing a loved one swept away at sea, but you can calculate how much it costs the taxpayers.

After four football players went missing in the Gulf of Mexico, the US Coast Guard spent three days searching 20,000 square miles. One man was rescued, but tragically the three others are presumed dead. The cost to the Coast Guard? $1.6 million.

If the boaters had carried an EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon), there may have been less need for the pricey fuel, high-powered aircraft, two Jayhawk helicopters, and other expensive vessels.

Is any price ever too much for a government-funded search and rescue? I don't think so. But, maybe we can start by making EPIRB devices mandatory for everyone's benefit, especially the boaters'.


Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
between searching for missing kids, missing boaters and missing votes , no wonder I am not getting a raise this year from the state.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
A fiduciary czar maybe only slightly better than a fecal/scat czar... My brain is still selecting the wrong words even though it's not in pain anymore. I'm wondering if I'll ever get my cognitive abilities back and if my aphasia will ever correct itself.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Careful we might get a Fiduciary Czar
stephley stephley 8 years
Because 'fiduciary' like 'czar' is kind of a fun word to say.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
umm why the hell did I say "fiduciary"?
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
I find this sort of reporting or consideration heartless - actually trying to determine whether the fiduciary cost of the rescue attempt that is. How much is a human life worth? Are embryos and the unborn (potentially never will be born) worth more than an already living thriving human? Do we set a dollar amount on everyone's life then refuse to lend a helping hand when they reach that pre-set amount? And who decides what value each born human is worth? Sad. I'd venture to say that the loss of those men can not be quantified by their families and friends. I'm sure they probably consider the effort to try to rescue them to be worth every penny, and I venture to say they are correct. Just as I consider the money spent to find missing children and adults to be worth every penny. Should we start charging parents of kidnapped children for all of the man hours that the police and FBI must devote to trying to find said child? Totally heartless...
stephley stephley 8 years
If they used it for work, it's probably a deductible expense. And since they're small businessmen, they probably would appreciate the time saved finding them quickly so they could get back to work.
piper23 piper23 8 years
My grandfather had a boat and he was friends with a lot of commercial fishermen. And by commercial, I mean local commercial, not the big guys with the big boats. That's why I know that some people, personal responsiblity or not, cannot afford these devices. I use to go fishing with him a lot when I was younger, some of my best memories were on his boat. Good times!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
As much as my heart breaks for these men and their families I have to say from experience that their boat was simply too small to be out that far. Plus it was one of those boats with a central tower in the middle so if a large enough wave strikes it from the side it's pretty much like an SUV taking a turn too fast the chance of flipping is much higher. I grew up on a boat pretty much, every Saturday morning my father would wake me at 4am and we'd be on the water by 5:30. We had a 20ft. and 35ft. fishing boat and I learned a lot being out there for 20yrs.
piper23 piper23 8 years
You writing the words "personal responsibility" is pretty funny to me. Personal responsibility is a thing of the past. The government has taken steps to ensure that people who are not personally responsible will be taken care of. This is not something I personally support but it is the nature of the beast these days.
stephley stephley 8 years
I believe the idea of personal responsibility says your boat should be properly equipped before you take it out and possibly require taxpayers to pay 1.6 million to try and find you.
piper23 piper23 8 years
I seriously doubt that everyone that owns a boat can afford a tracking device. There are a lot of poor fishermen out there. This is a sad situation but that's what the coast guard does, they rescue people - at a high cost apparently. But if they want to make it mandatory, maybe the government can pay for it. You know, just add it to the next stimulus package.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Flutter, you can buy one for $200! If you go boating 10 times in a year, that's only $20 a trip... and that's if it only lasts a year. I imagine it'll last you a few years, so it'll probably be $10 or $5 a trip. Boating isn't a cheap hobby, like birdwatching, so of course there will be costs involved! Besides, I'm sure if they became required, you could rent them, much like one can rent life vests! Personally, I think that these should be mandatory. It's just common sense, like telling someone where you're going when you go hiking.
stephley stephley 8 years
I think if you can afford a boat you can spring for the tracking device. Rescues aren't only expensive, sometimes they put the rescuer's lives at risk - the more help they can have to find you quickly, the better.
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
this story just breaks my heart but at the same time mandating pricey devices would be add to the list of things that the middle class cant afford to do anymore
skb9850 skb9850 8 years
My opinion is it is just the normal cost of S&R. S&R is very expensive.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Yeah it kind of takes the fun out of a game of Hide & Go Seak.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Is this the cost for every S&R or just for the NFL players? hypno - I'd gladly rent a satellite wrist watch but hell no to a chip implant. That idea just gives me the willies!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
After this tragedy happened I thought to my self why not give people the (affordable) option to rent or purchase personal satellite location devices that they can wear as a wrist band. Of course if you want to go to the extreme you could have a chip implanted.
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