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Ice Fisherman Shocked by Bill for Rescue

Kevin Hayes | TWC
Published: January 31, 2013

Flickr/Rick Harris

When Neil Robbescheuten required rescuing while ice fishing, he had no idea that it would cost him $5,392.78.

That’s the amount the Canadian township of Scugog billed the 62-year-old for freeing him after he got stuck in mud and water on January 13, according to durhamregion.com.

The bill includes charges for the fire trucks and fire fighters who went out to rescue the retired school principal, thespec.com reports.

The bill is the first of its kind sent out by Scugog, according to thespec.com. Scugog Mayor Chuck Mercier said, according to the site, that “no one should have been out on the ice” that day. The mayor says the bill is a way, the site reports, to discourage risky behavior.

Robbescheuten, who says he has gone ice fishing for 30 years without incident, counters that he was fine until fog rolled in on the lake and he became disoriented while trying to make it back to land. After he got stuck, he called 911, but he asked thespec.com, "What happens to a poor person or a young person who hesitates to call or they don't want to call 911 because of their fear of billing?"

Robbescheuten says he will fight the bill, according to CTV News.

“It will take me two years to save up $5,000 cash to pay them,” Robbescheuten said, according to CTV. “They want it in 30 days. I’m not going to run a credit card for that.”

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