French rower costs U.S. taxpayers big-time

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A Frenchman trying to row from Cape Cod, Mass., to his home country failed for the third time in his quest – and cost U.S. taxpayers about $80,000 in the process.

Charlie Girard had to be rescued last week about 150 miles off Cape Cod, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Plagued by poor visibility and deteriorating conditions, he called it quits 10 days into his attempt, and a Coast Guard jet and helicopter rescued him from his 21-foot custom rowing boat.

Girard will not be billed for the $80,000 expense, which includes six hours of total air time for the jet and helicopter, and the cost of support crews. Petty Officer Etta Smith, a Coast Guard spokeswoman in Boston, said policy is to use taxpayer money to pay for rescues, according to the newspaper.

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5 comments on “French rower costs U.S. taxpayers big-time

  1. newportted

    He should be responsible for his actions, and should be required to pay the rescue fee.

  2. John Allin Sr.

    What’s the sense in billing him, the French haven’t paid for anything yet…….

  3. crs

    I’m all for records and a personal quest to excel, but taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for ill-fated attempts.  A bond should be required before something like this is allowed to begin on US soil.

  4. Bob A.

    He should have to pay as it is his third attempt, last time he had to be rescued only fifty miles out in 8ft seas.
    This guy was never going to go all the way.
    He should have to pay, period.

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