FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- It's your money and only WINK News knows what it cost the Coast Guard to search for a missing boater off Sanibel. On Tuesday, night a boater radioed in saying his sailboat was taking on water. It sparked a nearly 24 hour long search and rescue mission. The missing boater was never found. We found out the search cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It's like losing a football game, you never want to lose a football game. It gets disappointing," said BM1 Anthony Kaminski with the United States Coast Guard.
Time, money and an extensive search lasted nearly 20 hours, in hopes of finding a missing boater whose sailboat was believed to be taking on water.
"When we put that amount of effort into, along with other agencies, working together, staying organized, shifting our patterns, shifting search areas, it's frustrating to not come up with anything," said Kaminski.
WINK News is the only station to learn just how much that call for help cost taxpayers when the coast guard was deployed. We're talking over $330,000 to operate the three aircraft and two boats the coast guard needed to search the area.
"I would want those assets out there looking for me, if I had my life jacket on, my boat went down and they don't know where I'm at."
The numbers break down like this... the water search cost $110,000 for 20 hours and the air search, over $220,000 for 14 hours.
"To our community, we are here for you, our assets are here, they are your assets!"
There is a possibility that this could have been a false alarm. The coast guard says calling in a false alarm or a hoax, is a felony that could put you behind bars and cost you a $5,000 fine.