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Norman_Clyde

Letter to P-I blames climbers for rescue costs

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Which goes back to the statement I made in my last post ^^. Even after debunking, the public has a short memory.

 

BTW, snaf.gif

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huh? what were we talking about? the monorail?

 

Close. We were talking about the moronrail by Keith Leeman and his insipid ignorant ilk.

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Excellent!!! While mine didn't make "the cut", it's pasted below for your collective perusal.

 

Volunteers Perform Mountain Rescues

 

Upon reading Keith Leeman’s unsubstantiated diatribe regarding his mistaken belief that the state’s taxpayers subsidize the cost of rescues in Washington’s mountains, I was moved to respond. What Mr. Leeman doesn’t know, nor desire to find out, is that those people performing mountain rescues are unpaid volunteers who have experience in mountaineering and rock climbing, medicine, technical rigging systems, and a desire to help others.

 

Search and Rescue (SAR) and Mountain Rescue (MR) operations are conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff’s office. The only paid staff at the sheriff’s office involved in SAR/MR is the deputy who acts as the SAR/MR liaison, and he also has many other functions for which he is paid anyway. In contrast, Mountain Rescue units are non-profit 501c(3) corporations, and our group equipment is purchased through funds raised by donations, fundraising efforts, and grant programs from corporate benefactors. The people actually performing the rescues are all unpaid volunteers, many of whom have taken personal time off from their real jobs to conduct these rescues. All of their equipment is personally purchased and owned, and they all invest large sums of time and money to remain trained, fit, and ready to respond to an emergency, at no cost to the American taxpayer. For Mr. Leeman to state that he is “…sick of picking up the tab for the dangerous and irresponsible choices of others” is simply ludicrous, as he is not spending one nickel of his own money for any of it.

 

Lest you wonder about the cost of aerial operations, the helicopters used in rescues are owned and operated by the U.S. military and/or the National Guard, and are paid for by all Americans through their federal taxes. The pilots, crew chiefs, and medics are paid the same whether or not they are involved in a rescue, and they treat rescue operations as a training opportunity. It is “all in a day’s work” for them. Same goes for the Mt. Rainier National Park climbing rangers.

 

If Mr. Leeman remains adamant about charging people for the “cost” of their rescues, perhaps he should be targeting hikers, skiers, boaters, hunters, snowmobilers, and Alzheimer patients, as the statistics will show that these groups have a larger incidence of requiring rescue than do mountaineers and rock climbers. But the public is unaware of this fact, because these types of rescues don’t garner the sensationalistic media coverage that a mountain rescue does. The information is out there; I suggest to Mr. Leeman that he go find it.

 

Paul E. Soboleski, President

Central Washington Mountain Rescue

Yakima, WA

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Right on! Those two letters on rescue costs were the most intelligent and informed of the bunch, too.

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Sobo,

I can see you getting your stick ready for Mt. Leeman as you were writing this. Good job.

Robert

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Sobo,

I can see you getting your stick ready for Mt. Leeman as you were writing this. Good job.

Robert

 

Thanks, robert. Yeah, I was pretty amped up at the time. This kinda crap from uninformed tools just gets to me.

 

Thanks for the tip on Dru. It took a while, but I figgerd him out (so to speak - can anyone figure out Dru? yellaf.gif ).

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People dying sell newspapers. Whackos spouting off do as well. Soon, a two-headed cow in Mt Vernon will take this issue's space in the paper. People seem to remember the negative crap even after its been debunked (see polical campaigns). The paper has no interest in the issue or they would write a fact-based story. So they'll probably edit someone's letter to make them sound like just as big a whacko as the first guy. That will sell more papers!

 

Obviously you are the man for the job.

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Thanks, Paul. The P-I sent me an auto-email telling me that letters are limited to 200 words. Mine was over 400. rolleyes.gif

 

But I'm glad that folks from the rescue and climbing community did get published. At least it will give other readers the real info. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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Nice work with the letters, guys! And I'm glad the PI chose to publish both sides of the story.

 

Many mountain rescue groups are funded through private donations anyway (both money and time). If this jerk doesn't want to pay for rescues, then he doensn't have to donate money. He can give it to cancer research or the save-the-spotted-snaffle-foundation. Or maybe only cancer patients should pay for cancer research?

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An unusually timely example of relative costs of rescues -- from the same issue of the NPR Morning report (July 14) that had the writeup on the tragedy at Sharkfin were these two items. It's hard to imagine any of these being cheaper than the Sharkfin rescue.

 

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)

Update on Three Searches in Progress

 

The following is an update on the three searches in progress in the park, as of this past Tuesday morning:

 

Knowles Falls SAR – This is the search for 14-year-old Boy Scout Luke Sanburg, who fell into the Yellowstone River on June 24th. The current strategy calls for limited continuous operations. This means occasional foot searches, occasional searches utilizing stock, occasional dog team searches, and occasional overflights.

Bridge SAR – This is the search for 19-year-old Xanterra Parks and Resorts employee Candace Kellie, whose car was found in the Yellowstone River on June 29th. The same strategy is being employed as in the Knowles Falls SAR.

Lewis Lake SAR – This is the search for Joseph Miller, 59, of Seattle, Washington, whose empty canoe was found on Lewis Lake on July 2nd. Side scan sonar is being employed in the lake and routine searches are being conducted by boat.

The park has scaled back all three searches considerably, with a total of about ten park personnel now involved on a daily basis. Suspension of all three operations is being considered. The rivers are dropping significantly, water temperatures are rising, and water clarity is increasing. Hundreds of visitors are engaged in river recreation on a daily basis, increasing the chances that one or more of the three missing people will be spotted. Members of the Sanburg family continue to staff an observation point on the bridge over the Yellowstone River in Gardner around the clock.

[submitted by Stephen Swanke, East District Ranger]

 

Yosemite National Park (CA)

Update on Search for Missing Hiker

 

The search for missing backpacker Michaeil Ficery was scaled down to a limited continuous search strategy on June 30th. Ficery, a 51-year-old experienced hiker from Santa Barbara, California, disappeared during a six-day solo trip into the wilderness north of Hetch Hetchy. Ficery's backpack was located on the first day of the search, but no other clues were discovered despite an intensive ground and aerial search operation involving over 250 people and four helicopters.

[submitted by Adrienne Freeman, Ficery SAR Information Officer]

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Lewis Lake SAR – This is the search for Joseph Miller, 59, of Seattle, Washington, whose empty canoe was found on Lewis Lake on July 2nd. Side scan sonar is being employed in the lake and routine searches are being conducted by boat.

Followup:

 

Thursday, July 14, 2005 - Page updated at 04:35 PM

 

Body believed to be missing Seattle canoeist recovered

 

The Associated Press

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — The body of a man believed to have drowned when his canoe capsized two weeks ago was recovered today, park officials said.

 

Joseph R. Miller, 59, of Seattle, was last seen July 2 paddling in rough water on the northeast section of Lewis Lake, which lies about 8 miles south of West Thumb Junction.

 

At the time, 2- to 4-foot waves and wind of 25-35 mph were noted, and the water temperature was 54 degrees, rangers said in a release.

 

Miller was alone and not wearing a life jacket, officials said.

 

Late that afternoon, a backpack, life jacket, canoe and other items belonging to Miller were found on shore.

 

Using sonar, an independent contractor located the body this morning about 800 feet from shore, in water 31 feet deep. A dive team retrieved the body, and autopsy was ordered.

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Lewis Lake SAR – This is the search for Joseph Miller, 59, of Seattle, Washington, whose empty canoe was found on Lewis Lake on July 2nd. Side scan sonar is being employed in the lake and routine searches are being conducted by boat.

Followup:

 

Thursday, July 14, 2005 - Page updated at 04:35 PM

 

Body believed to be missing Seattle canoeist recovered

 

The Associated Press

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — The body of a man believed to have drowned when his canoe capsized two weeks ago was recovered today, park officials said.

 

Joseph R. Miller, 59, of Seattle, was last seen July 2 paddling in rough water on the northeast section of Lewis Lake, which lies about 8 miles south of West Thumb Junction.

 

At the time, 2- to 4-foot waves and wind of 25-35 mph were noted, and the water temperature was 54 degrees, rangers said in a release.

 

Miller was alone and not wearing a life jacket, officials said.

 

Late that afternoon, a backpack, life jacket, canoe and other items belonging to Miller were found on shore.

 

Using sonar, an independent contractor located the body this morning about 800 feet from shore, in water 31 feet deep. A dive team retrieved the body, and autopsy was ordered.

 

Joe was a co-worker of mine in our Seattle office. I don't why he would have embarked on his paddle without a PFD. confused.gif

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