Public hearing for rescue bill set for July

Next month, a public hearing is set for a measure that would require hikers in need of rescue — who disregard warnings — to pay the county for recovery missions.

The hearing on Bill 2589 is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. July 1 in the Historic County Building, Council Chambers.

The bill will then be referred to the July 8 Public Safety Committee meeting.

Coucilmember Mason Chock, who introduced the bill, said it came about in 2014 when more than 100 stranded hikers were rescued from the Kalalau Trail when the Hanakapiai Stream became impassible due to rising waters.

Sarah Blane, county spokeswoman, said in fiscal year 2014-15 the county spent almost $20,000 on helicopter rescues.

The bill would allow government agencies engaged in search-and-rescue operations to seek reimbursement from “individual or individuals with intentional disregard for safety, such as disregarding a warning or notice.”

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