Coast Guard cost for N.J. boat explosion hoax adds up to $318K
By Tomes Dinges / New Jersey Star-Ledger
SANDY HOOK — The cost to the Coast Guard for the 5 1/2 hour search for 21 passengers reported to be in distress but never existed has been tallied at more than $318,000, officials said this afternoon.
Now, officials are offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for making the call, according to a statement by the First Coast Guard District in Boston.
The cost includes the operating expenses for the four helicopters and two rescue boats dispatched to the area where the yacht was reportedly taking on water following an explosion, the statement said.
It does not include the cost of the helicopters and rescue boats dispatched by the New York City Police and Fire Departments, Nassau County Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.
Nor does it include the cost of the six medevac helicopters and approximately 15 ambulances gathered in Sandy Hook to receive the wounded.
State Police said their response to the false distress call cost their agency about $16,570. That price tag includes the operating cost of four helicopters, one 50-foot vessel and troopers to operate them.
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