Take A Hike And Pay The Bill

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Globe reports New Hampshire state authorities will consider billing the family of an Ohio man for the difficult rescue operation they staged last week to rescue him from near-certain death on Mount Washington.

Allow me to help their deliberations along with some advice – do it.

And whatever the actual cost was, triple it.

According to state fish and game officials, 80 year old James Clark was hiking to the summit with two family members in poor conditions – high winds, 12-degree wind chills, fog and ice.

Then, for whatever reason - rank stupidity and carelessness at the very least – they violated two cardinal rules of mountain hiking, leaving him alone while they reached the summit and then taking a different trail down.

Clark had no cellphone, light or overnight gear.

When rescuers found him after a six-hour search, he was in such bad shape they had to bring in a stretcher for the all-night ordeal of removing him to safety.

This was not an isolated incident.

One veteran told the New Hampshire Union-Leader “a lot of people go up (Mount Washington) and they aren’t prepared. People need to understand and respect it, but they won’t.”

Criminal charges might also be in order here – the term reckless endangerment comes to mind. At the very least, a whopping fine capable of getting maximum media attention seems called for.

That rescue risked innocent lives and cost New Hampshire taxpayers real money.

And apparently, simple common sense is no longer much of a deterrent.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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