Monday 23 September 2019

Comment: Reckless should pay for their rescue after needlessly putting lives of emergency services in jeopardy

Rescue 116 (Photo: Wicklow RNLI)
Rescue 116 (Photo: Wicklow RNLI)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

IRRESPONSIBLE behaviour should have consequences.

People who took to the storm-tossed oceans yesterday to swim or kite surf engaged in recklessly dangerous acts.

Some of them had to be rescued, endangering the lives of first-responders.

From the west coast to the east cost, people went to sea for pleasure, despite two days of warnings from a string of State agencies to stay away from the water.

Constant warnings were not enough to stop a man swimming in storm-laden seas at Salthill, in Galway.

The Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 116, and a lifeboat had to be scrambled to come to the aid of two kite surfers after onlookers feared they were in trouble off the coast of Louth.

The kite surfers later made their own way to shore.

One can’t help thinking of the four brave people who lost their lives in March on the helicopter that crashed off the west coast. It used the same call sign, Rescue 116.

In a further twist, kite surfers in Dundalk threatened to make complaints about emergency service personnel stopping them going to sea.

People are selfish, and they fail to consider the affect their actions have on other people.

There is a simple solution to this. Ignore warnings, and act irresponsibly, by indulging in storm tourism and sport all you like.

But if you end up having to be rescued, then you pay for the cost of the rescue.

That is a bill that could run to thousands of euro. That would make that kind of feckless activity far less attractive.

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