Star-Bulletin file photo
Under a proposed bill, people who show "wanton
and reckless misconduct" then need to be rescued
from dangerous situations, such as high surf,
would have to pay for the rescue.
Disregard ofBy Star-Bulletin staff
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If you ignore a lifeguard's warning to stay out of the water because of high surf and get into trouble, you might get a bill for the cost of your rescue under a legislative bill.
The measure would allow the state and counties to go to court to seek reimbursement from people who show "wanton and reckless misconduct" and then need to be rescued.
Previous bills have failed in the Senate, but this year Judiciary Co-Chairman Avery Chumbley (D, Kihei) said he will support it.
Roy Price, the vice director of Civil Defense for the state, said: "The acts of irresponsible people can cause the state and counties to unnecessarily expend substantial sums and risk the lives of rescue workers."
As an example of where reimbursement could be sought, Price cited a 1992 incident in which a film crew flew into a volcano vent despite warnings, which prompted a three-day rescue effort.
Price said he did not believe the measure would discourage people from calling for help in an emergency.
The Honolulu Fire Department estimates it can cost about $1,000 an hour for a typical rescue effort.
Hawaii Revised Statutes