Seven Belgian hikers may have to pay for the rescue operation that saved them from the Austrian mountains this weekend. According to the police, they were not prepared for their journey. Robin Pax of the Royal Dutch Climbing and Mountaineering Association (NKBV) understands that the rage is on the rise, and now more and more people are prepared with difficulty, sometimes. Yes, sometimes also on slippers.
The flight attendant who knocked on the door of seven Belgians during a mountaineering trip in Austria still grumbles about it. The Belgians, including three children from eight to ten years old, climbed Mount Chesaplana, but once they reached the top they did not dare to descend again. The road became too steep and slippery for them. They thought they were climbing a 3,000-meter mountain without experience and guidance. Not responsible at allsays the host to the Belgian network HLN.
Only the app
The parents didn’t have the right equipment and only an app on their phone to guide them. That while the mountain is notoriously difficult. A helicopter was forced to rescue the Belgians on Friday after they refused to help a guide.
And now, in addition to their hostess’ disdain, a huge bill might be waiting for them. in local media And the police announced it in black and white in a news report: “A settlement will be proposed for the operation due to lack of preparation for the tour.” It is not clear whether it is really necessary to pay, an investigation will be carried out. But the fact that there is irritation about the way hikers go out is telling.
distress and irritability
For years there has been a debate in the Alps over whether the rescued people should pay for the relief operation. And that is becoming even more urgent now that more and more people are coming out unprepared, Robin Bax believes. At KNBV, of which Pax is director, they are increasingly seeing that young people in particular are getting “hiking” badly, so He told this site just last week. The emergency services are increasingly having to rescue people from distress in the mountains. “I see this letter primarily as a cry for help, an expression of growing irritation. I don’t think it’s possible to just present the bill when people are not ready, because when is that exactly the case?”
Sometimes it seems as if people are not going on a mountain hike, but rather playing Russian roulette
Of course, he also sees instances when walking makes him hold back. When he climbed Pax Mont Blanc a few years ago, he was not only amazed by the breathtaking view. “I saw people who barely had the shorts with them. Someone wore jeans—if they got wet, hypothermia could become a serious problem. Another walked alone behind the crowd, as if everything was okay.”
If you struggle to search on social media, you will see an almost endless stream of other examples of climbers and hikers doing something. Without food, with little water and yes, sometimes even in slippers. Pax sighs: Sometimes it’s as if people aren’t going on a mountain hike, but are playing Russian roulette.
Switzerland has already pushed for some time
But in the end, there are also a lot of cases where it can be difficult to say if someone is really not ready. Buck: Well, in that case, I’m also wondering where you draw the line. However, the view that you have to pay for rescue is not outlandish, he asserts. , In Switzerland, you always have to do it, even if you break your leg as an experienced climber and need help. We also have insurance for that. I think it’s understandable that this is being discussed. Also elsewhere, and that this discussion has been going on for some time. Especially if the taxpayer is now paying for the bailouts that are being done.”
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