Not only are rescue crews risking their lives on this ridiculous BS, but the rest of us are paying for it.
Here's one case:
Last month two men and their teenage sons tackled one of the world’s most unforgiving summertime hikes: the Grand Canyon’s parched and searing Royal Arch Loop. Along with bedrolls and freeze-dried food, the inexperienced backpackers carried a personal locator beacon — just in case.
In the span of three days, the group pushed the panic button three times, mobilizing helicopters for dangerous, lifesaving rescues inside the steep canyon walls.
The Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch loop, the National Park Service warns, “has a million ways to get into serious trouble” for those lacking skill and good judgment. One evening the fathers-and-sons team activated their beacon when they ran out of water.
Rescuers, who did not know the nature of the call, could not launch the helicopter until morning. When the rescuers arrived, the group had found a stream and declined help.
That night, they activated the emergency beacon again. This time the Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter, which has night vision capabilities, launched into emergency mode.
When rescuers found them, the hikers were worried they might become dehydrated because the water they found tasted salty. They declined an evacuation, and the crew left water.
The following morning the group called for help again. This time, according to a park service report, rescuers took them out and cited the leader for “creating a hazardous condition” for the rescue teams.
Morons. If I'd have pulled this kind of crap even once I'd never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.
I understand the reasons that states are hesitant to make such people pay for their own rescues, but surely the worst offenders could be charged for them.