Bearing The Cost Of Search & Rescue Missions

The search for two missing climbers continues on Mount Hood in Oregon. The body of a third climber in their group was found Sunday inside a snow cave, it was 48-year-old Kelly James from Texas. Searchers will comb descent routes on lower levels of the mountain just in case the two missing climbers made it down that far.

Thousands of dollars have been spent on the search and is raising questions like; should the public bear the cost- both financial and human, to rescue people who choose to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations? And should mountain climbers and others be required to buy insurance policies to pay for part of the cost of rescue efforts?

In Colorado search and rescue cards, or COSAR cards are available for outdoor enthusiasts. When a card is purchased money is put into a fund that local search and rescue teams can tap into. If you have a hunting license or a off highway vehicle license you already have a COSAR card.

Search and rescue missions typically cost anywhere from $200 to $5,000 in Mesa County. One of the more expensive efforts to take place in the county was for missing cross county skier Dan Walker last January.