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Smokies Rescues Cost $40,000 to $550,000

August 31 2004 at 10:12 AM
roger  (Login dipper)

Response to NPS Spent $3.5 Million on 3,108 Rescues in 2003


Search and rescue operations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have cost taxpayers between $40,000 and more than a half-million dollars in recent years.
While there are periodic discussions of trying to get some of that money back from people who've been found, a National Park Service official says most people couldn't afford it.
The most expensive year in recent times was 1993, when search costs were $550,000.
Nearly half of that was spent on the search for 13-year-old Brad Lavies of Birmingham, Alabama. The search lasted a week and the boy's body was recovered at the base of a small waterfall in the park.
Park spokesman Bob Miller says most of the 50 to 70 searches and rescues each year are much less expensive.

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