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High Cost Of Rescue Of Two Trabuco Hikers Raises Questions

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SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The high-profile rescue of two teenaged hikers in Trabuco Canyon over Easter weekend was successful, but it was not cheap.

Hikers Kyndall Jack, 18, and Nicolas Cendoya, 19, were missing for several days ending up lost in the canyon.

Meanwhile, rescuers searched for the two hikers, with one officer being injured as the result of a steep 60-foot fall during the search.

The total cost of the rescue exceeded $160,000.

The price tag on the rescue efforts has prompted at least one Orange County supervisor to call for an investigation into the cost.

Of that amount, $60,665 made up the expense of helicopter support, while the Orange County Fire Authority costs $55,000 for its choppers and personnel.

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer is now trying to reveal whether the incident was a case of negligence or

“Or did they do something to contribute to their own set of circumstances that set a whole set of wheels in motion that created peril for a lot of people,” Spitzer said. “And clearly, I have a [deputy] who is now out on worker’s compensation that’s going to be very expensive to the county, and he was out there simply to try to help rescue those hikers.”

Supervisor Spitzer has spoken with the County Risk Management offices and the County Council in order to begin the investigation.

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