LETTER:Keep the rescue services free

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The Independent Online
Sir: For about 20 years the question of compulsory rescue insurance (report, 6 April) has come up time and again. Rather than help the services involved, in a lot of cases it would do them financial harm.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, for instance, acknowledged as one of the best such services in the world, runs on voluntary contributions given freely by its many supporters. Once people begin to start paying insurance they would not then be inclined to donate money as well. Business institutions would withdraw their sponsorships.

The military services we pay for in our taxes, and I am sure that the helicopter crews would be the first to agree that the jobs they do helping civilians enhance the skills needed in their role as search and rescue units for the military.

G Lynch

Formby, Merseyside