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'Fake' missing snowmobiler call cost Canadian Armed Forces $88K

OceanBonfire

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If convicted, person who made false report in N.W.T. could face prison time

Hilary Bird · CBC News · Posted: Jan 21, 2019


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Search and rescue teams board a Hercules aircraft in Yellowknife on Jan. 10 to search for a snowmobiler who reported himself missing. The RCMP subsequently deemed that the report was false. (Submitted by Shai Topaz)


A week and a half-long search for a missing snowmobiler, which turned out to be based on a false call, cost the Canadian Armed Forces almost $88,000, according to an official.

RCMP in Hay River, N.W.T., said they received a distress call just before midnight on Jan. 7 from a man claiming to be lost on his snowmobile. The line was poor and it was difficult to make out what he was saying, but police identified him as 20-year-old Shawn Lafferty.

Last week, police said they had determined the call was "fake." RCMP say they are still investigating who made the call.

Police said it came from a tower near Behchoko and the man was believed to be in the area of Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Providence, Behchoko or Whati.

Shortly after they received the call on Jan. 7, police launched air and ground searches for the missing man, focusing on areas with cabins.

Two days later, the Royal Canadian Air Force sent a CC-130 Hercules aircraft from Winnipeg, along with a seven-person crew to help with the search.

Lt. Jeff Lura, with the Canadian Armed Forces, told CBC News that the cost of the 13.5 hour flight was just under $88,000.

"Thankfully, though a response turned out to be unnecessary in this case, it did not jeopardize any other [search and rescue] demands with the region," Lura wrote in an email.

Local volunteers with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association also took part in the operation. Over two days, nine volunteers spent more than 10 hours looking for the missing snowmobiler.

Behchoko RCMP wouldn't say how many of its officers were involved in the search or how much it cost.


Could face prison time

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, anyone who makes a false report like this one can be charged with public mischief and, if convicted, could spend up to five years in prison.

Two years ago in Saskatchewan a woman was convicted of public mischief after helping her husband fake his own death. For days, searchers, aircraft and an underwater dive team looked for the man, who was actually living 130 kilometres away.

His wife, Michelle Ross, was sentenced to four months of house arrest and ordered to pay $10,000 to the Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers to cover the cost of the search.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/snowmobiler-missing-false-report-nwt-1.4984814
 

Ciskman

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The majority of SAR taskings are false calls granted they are not initiated maliciously as in this case. It would be interesting to see the costs of the false calls vs actual.
 

mariomike

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HappyWithYourHacky said:
It would be interesting to see the costs of the false calls vs actual.

For reference to the discussion,

Search and rescue for false alarms costs millions
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/search-and-rescue-for-false-alarms-costs-millions-1.2594306

False alarms: High cost of search and rescue
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/false-alarms-high-cost-of-search-and-rescue-1.2594750
 

Haggis

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HappyWithYourHacky said:
The majority of SAR taskings are false calls granted they are not initiated maliciously as in this case. It would be interesting to see the costs of the false calls vs actual.

My wife and I went on a mountain hike in a provincial park a few years ago.  Clearly posted at the trailhead was the notice to the effect of "if we have to rescue you and you are found to have been unprepared, we will bill you - or your estate - for the cost of the rescue".
 

mariomike

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Haggis said:
Clearly posted at the trailhead was the notice to the effect of "if we have to rescue you and you are found to have been unprepared, we will bill you - or your estate - for the cost of the rescue".

Regarding,

Pressure mounts to bill lost skiers for rescue costs
https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/and-how-will-you-be-paying/
Charging fees could mean even more problems, argues search and rescue association

Canadian military spent $2.7 million to rescue wealthy tourists off of breakaway ice floe
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-military-spent-2-7-million-to-rescue-wealthy-tourists-off-of-breakaway-ice-floe
Planes and helicopters from five provinces were scrambled to the Nunavut location — while the tourists were being served dinner in a heated dining tent

Grounded cruise ship rescue in Nunavut cost Canada's Armed Forces $513K
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rcaf-akademik-ioffe-expensive-1.4810589
Price tag doesn't include cost to coast guard, neither body seeks reimbursement from tour companies

Stupid antics on trails lead to costly bills for crews
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/stupid-antics-on-trails-lead-to-costly-bills-for-crews/article18140314/
It cost at least $80,000 for a Canadian Forces helicopter to rescue a hiker off the West Coast Trail last month, according to Maritime Forces Pacific, and the price tag has prompted those in the life-saving business to call for inexperienced and ill-prepared adventurers to foot the bill for their own rescues.
 

Remius

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mariomike said:
Regarding,

Pressure mounts to bill lost skiers for rescue costs
https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/and-how-will-you-be-paying/
Charging fees could mean even more problems, argues search and rescue association

Canadian military spent $2.7 million to rescue wealthy tourists off of breakaway ice floe
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-military-spent-2-7-million-to-rescue-wealthy-tourists-off-of-breakaway-ice-floe
Planes and helicopters from five provinces were scrambled to the Nunavut location — while the tourists were being served dinner in a heated dining tent

Grounded cruise ship rescue in Nunavut cost Canada's Armed Forces $513K
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rcaf-akademik-ioffe-expensive-1.4810589
Price tag doesn't include cost to coast guard, neither body seeks reimbursement from tour companies

Stupid antics on trails lead to costly bills for crews
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/stupid-antics-on-trails-lead-to-costly-bills-for-crews/article18140314/
It cost at least $80,000 for a Canadian Forces helicopter to rescue a hiker off the West Coast Trail last month, according to Maritime Forces Pacific, and the price tag has prompted those in the life-saving business to call for inexperienced and ill-prepared adventurers to foot the bill for their own rescues.

something that maybe insurance companies could tap into.  Rescue insurance.

TBH if you are going to be dumb you deserve what you get.  getting lost is one thing.  Going off clearly marked trails or doing adventure type tourism like ballooning across the arctic unprepared is another.
 

mariomike

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Remius said:
something that maybe insurance companies could tap into.  Rescue insurance.

TBH if you are going to be dumb you deserve what you get.  getting lost is one thing.  Going off clearly marked trails or doing adventure type tourism like ballooning across the arctic unprepared is another.

Like when ice anglers rescued on Lake Simcoe are billed $200 each,
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/03/28/anglers_rescued_from_lake_simcoe_ice_floe_ordered_to_pay_200_each.html
 
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