“Unapproved” rescue mission in California

If you were in a position to save people who were in danger using your plane or helicopter would you do it, even if it meant defying the authorities?  David Gunsauls and Dan Kohrdt of California did. 

Last week they used a helicopter and night-vision goggles to rescue two 11-year-olds who had been separated from their party and were stranded on a hillside strewn with lava rock near Paradise, CA.    

While everyone was happy about the kids’ safe return, the local authorities were troubled by Gunsauls and Kohrdt’s actions:

"We did not ask for, frankly, nor did we support [the freelance operation]," Capt. Jerry Smith, head of the sheriff’s department’s aviation section. "That was a non-sanctioned event." His team was waiting for daylight to launch. Now, it’s not that Smith is entirely heartless. He told the Paradise Post the rescue "was a very heroic thing," but he also noted that if anything had gone wrong it would have been his department held liable. "Anytime we establish a relationship with a civilian component of the community, we assume responsibility for their actions," Smith said. The helicopter was in radio contact with the ground team.

Read Mission Accomplished.