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Hawaii proposes senate bill to reimburse hiker rescues

The bill would allow agencies to seek reimbursement when hikers intentionally disregard reasonable warning notices
An injured hiker at the Red River Gorge Friday afternoon was found and rescued thanks to a...
An injured hiker at the Red River Gorge Friday afternoon was found and rescued thanks to a cellphone GPS signal.(Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team - Facebook)
Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 5:07 PM MST
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HAWAII (KOLD News 13) - One of the most popular outdoor activities during spring and summer time is hiking. That said, it’s also a very popular time for hiker rescue operations.

The State of Hawaii has proposed a bill to the senate that would allow the government to seek reimbursement for rescue operations when hikers intentionally disregard reasonable warning notices.

SB700 would require government entities to seek reimbursement for all or a portion of search and rescue expenses, for persons who require rescue after leaving a hiking trail to enter a prohibited area or hiking on a trail closed to the public.

Agencies would request reimburesement from:

* The person on whose behalf search or rescue operations were conducted, including the person’s estate, guardians, custodians or other entity responsible for the person’s safety.

* A person who ultimately benefited from a search or rescue operation by being rescued.

* Any entity responsible for placing the person in the position of danger for which the search or rescue operation was initiated.

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