Rescue Responsibility

By: American Sailing Association, Legislation, Safety

The French government is poised to enact a bill that would require mariners to pay for their own rescues. In the wake of the world’s anger over Abby Sunderland’s expensive rescue in the Indian Ocean, they may have the bill timed just right.

But what does this mean for responsible cruisers? Accidents happen at sea, hurricanes are not confined to their weather “box,” and piracy occurs even in unexpected places. Calamity can befall even the most prepared and prudent cruisers, so where does this bill leave them? On the other hand, it seems to make sense to put limits on the extent to which the government will support any rash adventure. Consider’s article about this stirring legislation.

I’m curious what everyone thinks about all this. Is there a solution that restricts unnecessary spending without penalizing those who are prudent in their undertakings? Being both sailors and citizens, we just might have the most balanced opinions out there–so let’s hear what you think!