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    When Wealthy Adventurers Take Huge Risks, who Should Foot the Bill for Rescue Attempts?

    When Wealthy Adventurers Take Huge Risks, who Should Foot the Bill for Rescue Attempts?

    When millionaire Steve Fossett's plane went missing over the Nevada range in 2007, the swashbuckling adventurer had already been the subject of two prior emergency rescue operations thousands of miles apart.

    And that prompted a prickly question: After a sweeping search for the wealthy risktaker ended, who should foot the bill?

    In recent days, the massive hunt for a submersible vehicle lost during a north Atlantic descent to explore the wreckage of the Titanic has refocused attention on that conundrum. And with rescuers and the public fixated first on saving and then on mourning those aboard, it has again made for uneasy conversation.

    “Five people have just lost their lives and to talking about insurance, all the rescue efforts and the cost can seem pretty heartless — but the thing is, at the end of the day, there are costs,” said Arun Upneja, dean of University's School of Hospitality Administration and a researcher on tourism.

    “There are many people who are going to say, ‘Why should the society spend money on the rescue effort if (these people) are wealthy enough to be able to … engage in these risky activities?'”

    That question is gaining attention as very wealthy travelers in search of singular adventures spend big to scale peaks, sail across oceans and blast off for space.

    The U.S. Coast Guard declined Friday to provide a cost estimate for its efforts to locate the Titan, the…

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