“You gamble based on the information provided by you. Because of his age – 70 – we were told he had a medical condition, was up on the highest peaks in the Northeast, 24 hours overdue, and hiking alone … when he’s 24 hours over, we don’t wait.” Col. Kevin Jordan of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
At the end of the day 70 year old Christophe Chamley of Cambridge, Mass, is safe but a bit of miscommunication between himself and his wife will likely end up hurting his wallet as the decision is being made whether to bill him for a search and rescue operation that was mounted while he slept in a hotel.
“We are unsure if we’re going to bill him. … I’m more inclined to think that we will.” -Col. Kevin Jordan
The Concord Monitor reports Christophe Chamley told his wife he was taking a day hike on Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson on April 22nd, but had a change of plans and hiked dow to the Omni Mount Washington Resort, where he checked in for the night unbeknownst to his wife.
When Chamley didn’t return home, his wife called 911 at 3:48 a.m. which led to an extensive search involving a National Guard helicopter, two dozen people and a snowcat. All the while Chamley was cozy in his hotel room where he was eventually discovered. He explained to officials he had texted his wife about his change in plans but hadn’t talked to her to confirm she knew.
New Hampshire State law allows Fish and Game to bill for the expenses of a search and rescue if the subject of the search is found to have been negligent and since helicopter was involved, Chamley could easily face a bill well into the thousands for an operation that never should have happened.
Moral of the story: If you’re plan change and you know you will miss scheduled checkpoints, make absolutely sure the people looking after you know it or you may face monetary consequences.
image from omnihotels.com