As an emergency service responder for 25 years, I agree with the article to a large degree. The citizens/taxpayer has been and is already paying for those emergency services, some of them all of their working lives, and in all reality only a small percentage of them will need to call on those services in a time of need, the majority of American tax payers will never need to call for emergency services of the Coast Guard, a smaller percentage for fire and police, but they still pay those taxes and vote to keep those taxes in place for those emergency services that might only be needed by them one day. So they are funding that emergency service to be ready and willing to be called out at anytime 24/7 with their tax dollars, in all reality, they own it, it belongs to them...so many emergency and first responders forget that basic concept. If it was not for the tax payer funding our service, whether Coast Guard, military, fire or police, or other such service, we would not have the personnel, equipment or tools we have, or even a job with benefits and retirement...we owe the tax payer everything and should always be professional and on the ready to respond for them. As the article points out, the expenses being listed for such and such rescue/s is not totally accurate, as had the rescue not been needed that day, the cutter, helicopter, fire apparatus, police car, radio operators, dispatchers and other support services, along with all of the associated personnel needed for that equipment would still be getting paid and funded. They would still be participating in training in large and small scale scenarios, maintaining and repairing equipment, practicing drills, planning and fulfilling other missions...all of this while in a standby status ready and willing to respond to that mayday call...the call just makes it a life and death situation that all of our standby training will hopefully edge the outcome to a life saving event and an awesome outcome. The mayday incident would not cost us anymore in personal or apparatus use and the such, it just changes our daily actions and directions to some degree...perhaps maybe a little more fuel might be used, along with some expendable equipment and perishable goods if used in the process...but still that fuel and equipment has already been purchased by the tax payer for just this purpose, to save them during an emergency...whether their fault or not, and it will be their tax dollars that replace whatever is used or possibly damaged during the rescue. When the cutter, helicopter, fire apparatus, police car or whatever is worn out they will by us a new one, so that we will be on the ready to respond and save them.
Now with the large cruise line based out of a foreign country to avoid paying US taxes, even though transporting large numbers of US paying tax payers, they should be held accountable to some degree for placing themselves, their passengers and the rescuers in peril for preventable mishaps that are deemed their fault...this should be addressed in fines to discourage those mistakes in the first place, not in reimbursement of daily costs for the rescue equipment, as I agree with the article that most if not all knowing they will have to pay an astronomical price if they call for a mayday, will severely delay the mayday call for help in hopes they can change their very expensive mistake, thus placing themselves and the rescuers in even more peril as more time passes and the situation worsens by the minute. Life hangs in the balance of time!