Portugal charges fisherman 20,000 dollars for rescue

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LISBON, Nov 10 (Reuters) The Portuguese air force has charged a fisherman almost 20,000 dollars for rescuing him from the high sea after he became ill with appendicitis, infuriating the fishing community.

''It is unacceptable, illegal and revolting,'' said the Association for the Safety of Men at Sea in a letter to the defence minister.

The air force is suing the fisherman for the cost of helicopter rescue, which is not covered by medical insurance. He says he does not have the money to pay.

REUTERS JT ND0906

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