Recently, a young American sailor attempting to circumnavigate the globe was saved after her boat was badly damaged at sea.
I am always struck by rescues like these, which are often as time-consuming and expensive as they are dramatic. (The search for the American sailor involved several ships, as well as the involvement of three different countries.) How can we justify the expenditure of so much resources in order to save a single person? It seems to me that the money spent on finding the sailor, if used to purchase something more basic (food or medicine, say), could just as easily have saved dozens if not hundreds of other people. Indeed, this sort of thing strikes me as somewhat perverse, because the individuals rescued in situations like this have very often deliberately put themselves in dangerous situations.
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