Trabuco Canyon Rescue Cost County $160,000

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Kyndall Jack, found
You asked and the County of Orange answered: this cost to search for and pluck two young adults out of rugged Trabuco Canyon terrain last month was more than $160,000.

"Why do I have to pay for someone's negligence?" reacted county Supervisor Todd Spitzer of the figures released Tuesday by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which headed up the multi-day, multi-agency rescue operation.

According to City News Service, Spitzer has launched an investigation into whether Costa Mesa teens Kyndall Jack and Nicolas Cendoya should be held liable. The sheriff's department previously indicated they would not be.

"We want government services when accidents happen," Spitzer told the news service. "We don't want people to pay for government services when 'on purposes' happen."

Jack, 18, and Cendoya, 19, went for a day hike in the popular Cleveland National Forest area on Easter Sunday. But they became lost and separated that night after going through their one water bottle and wearing only light clothing. Each was separately found after long days and nights in the dense brush.

The $160,378 price tag represents the cost of services from six agencies. Included are: $32,000 from the sheriff's department for 728 hours of manhours and helicopter support; $55,000 from the Orange County Fire Authority, which also deployed multiple helicopters; $58,000 from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; and about $15,000 combined from Orange County Parks, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the California Emergency Management Agency.

Not included are 1,900 hours of unpaid reserve and volunteer work no one was charged for.

With out without the freebies, Spitzer tells City News the county estimates are low.

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Nicolas Cendoya, also found
They aren't to Cendoya, who reportedly reacted with, "That's insane."

He added he doesn't want his parents burdened with the charges, explaining the incident as "one of those one-in-a-billion chances where you never know what could go wrong. We were that 1 percent."

Let's hear it for the 1 percenters!

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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3 comments
vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Cut salaries for public employees then. Doubt that 160k was for fuel. 

barefoot
barefoot

One in a billion would be .000000001%, not 1%, you're not helping your case dude.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

If this Bernie-Madoff-except-with-less-ethics fraud of a County is going to hold Kyndall Jack and Nicolas Cendoya accountable for $160,000 dollars of lost taxpayer money due to their stupid act, then Stan Knee/Brad Gates/Mike Carona and assorted near-do-wells need to have their rear ends returned to Orange County California to answer for the lose of 100 times that amount of money (conservative estimate) thanks to their reputation destroying activities. 

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