The sea and land search for a 23-year-old Puerto Rican in waters north of Puerto Rico, who was later found alive, cost local and federal authorities on the island a million dollars.
This was stated this Friday at a press conference by the Search and Rescue coordinator of the United States Coast Guard on the island, Alberto Martínez, who expressed feeling “outraged” by the situation caused by Harold Carrión Butter in Arecibo (north).
“We share the outrage, but we will always be available as we did in this case in coordination with the state,” said Martinez.
It was Carrión’s mother who last Tuesday night contacted the authorities after losing sight of her son, after he allegedly fell from a step on Poza del Obispo beach.
After the alert, local and US security forces on the island moved to the area to search for Carrión.
However, Carrión was found this Friday in a structure of an urbanization in Arecibo, after an anonymous caller notified the Police of his presence at the scene.
For the search at sea, the Coast Guard activated three vessels, including two 154-foot (47-meter) long, a plane from the city of Miami, Florida (USA), and two helicopters stationed at the Aguadilla (northwest).
Regarding the monetary estimate, it was indicated that the amount of fuel required to keep the helicopters and the plane in the air, as well as that necessary to operate the boats, was taken into account.
The salary of staff who worked on the effort was also included.
“He exposed the safety of all the personnel we had facing horrible sea conditions, both in the boats and the helicopters and the divers,” added the commissioner of the local Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration, Nino Correa.
“For this reason, the entire step of the law has to fall on this type of person who does not realize all the people they expose,” said the official.
Correa estimated, in a preliminary way, that the state government spent more than 200,000 dollars in the search.
“Learning about this situation is quite indignant, but we are also happy because a mother’s request was fulfilled. She said she wanted her son and there he is,” he added.
Vessels from the United Rapid Action Forces of the Puerto Rico Police and other specialized personnel also joined in the search.