Yacht Hoax Cost Hundreds of Thousands More Than Initial Estimate

The New Jersey coast guard said it spent $318,000 on the hoax yacht explosion – well over authorities’ initial $88,000 estimate.

Coast guard officer Jason Moritz said multiple assets were used in the search including Coast Guard boats and aircrafts, fuel, man hours, maintenance and support of the aircrafts.

"This case was unusual because of the level of detail that is provided as well as the number of people that were involved," coast guard officer Jason Moritz told WNYC.

The mission involved not only the Coast Guard, but also local police and fire departments. The 5-1/2 hour search was launched after authorities received an emergency radio transmission around 4:20 p.m. on Monday saying there was an explosion on board a vessel seven miles off the coast of Sandy Hook.

The NYPD also helped out, sending three helicopters and give harbor boats to help with the search. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly described the hoax as a “terrible” waste of resources, but said it was difficult to put a price tag on it.

Moritz says if caught the person responsible could be responsible for $200,000 in fines and up to two years in prison.