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Bi l l for Fairhaven search cou ld hit $200,000 By CURT BROWN cbrown@s-t.com FAIRHAVEN - Last weekend's extensive, 12-hour search for a New Bedford chiropractor could cost between $100,000 and $200,000, police said. New Bedford police Sgt. Jill Sim­mons, director of port security, esti­mated the total costs of the search for Gary Alves will cost the Coast Guard, state Department of Environ­mental Police and SouthCoast com­munities more than $150,000 and close to $200,000 because the land, sea and air effort was so extensive. "I bet it will be north of $150,000," she said. Sgt. Kevin Kobza, public infor­mation officer for the Fairhaven Police Department, said conserva­tively the final price tag will be"over $100,000." In Fairhaven alone, Fire Chief Tim­othy Francis said the cost to the town will be somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000. "It's going to be substantial," he said, explaining many of his person­nel were on overtime. "It's going to cost the town a little bit of money." The department had its fire boat with three firefighters/paramedics in the water as well as 10 additional personnel on the shore. "It happened in our town so we set up the command post," he said. Public safety officials based their estimates on the number of rescue boats and the Coast Guard helicop­ter, cutter and two response boats that participated in the rescue, which started about 6 p.m. Friday and ended approximately 5:30 a.m. Saturday. The Coast Guard deployed a heli­copter from Air Station Cape Cod; the 87-foot cutter Tiger Shark, based in Woods Hole, and two 47-foot response boats, one based at Woods Hole, the other at Menemsha, accord­ing to Petty Officer Robert Simpson. He could not estimate the cost of the search to the Coast Guard. Simmons said boats and personnel from the state Department of Envi­ronmental Police; the Marion, Matta­poisett and Fairhaven harbormasters; Fairhaven shellfish warden and Fire Department, and the New Bedford Fire Department all participated in the sea search, while two al-terrain vehicles from the Southeastern Mas­sachusetts Law Enforcement Council Search and Rescue Team searched marshes for Alves. New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes estimated the costs for fuel and overtime costs for his three fire­fighters will be about $1,100. Simmons said New Bedford police did not launch its police boat and she was on the water with the environ­mental police. The search began when Alves' Hobie pontoon boat, a cross between a kayak and a sailboat, washed onto West Island town beach about 5:30 p.m. with no one aboard. His cellphone and a small bag with his personal belongings were in the boat. Alves was found about 5:30 a.m. walking up the beach at West Island near Hoppy's Landing when he flagged down a Fairhaven officer, according to Kobza. Alves was trans­ported to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford for observation. Louis Carlesi, who identified him­self as a family friend, said Monday that Alves was still at the hospital when The Standard-Times called the chiropractor's home. It could not be determined Mon­day from hospital officials whether Alves was a patient there. Stephanie Poyant, a spokeswoman, said she had "no information" about him. She explained that means he either was not a patient or had "opted out" of being included on the hospital list. Although Fairhaven police said the Coast Guard is investigating the circumstances of the incident, Simp­son said no decision has been made whether to begin an official probe. "There is time to make a decision on that," he said.
Posted on May 18, 2013 Slideshow

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