Skier’s family unlikely to be billed for search costs, Maine official says

Posted March 08, 2013, at 10:33 a.m.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — It does not appear the Maine Warden Service or Sugarloaf will charge the family of Massachusetts skier Nicholas Joy for costs related to the search for him, an official said.

The 17-year-old Medford, Mass., skier apparently went out of bounds off the Timberline trail at 12:40 p.m. Sunday, Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said Friday morning.

“He skied quite some time before realizing he was too far to get back and had lost his way,” said MacDonald. “From that point, he did not panic and did what was necessary to stay alive.”

Joy was found alive on Tuesday morning by Massachusetts firefighter Joe Paul along Caribou Pond Road, a winter snowmobile trail. The teen and his family have not spoken publicly about his ordeal since his rescue.

MacDonald said the search for Joy cost close to $15,000, although he did not disclose an exact amount.

“Our job was to find him and bring him back,” MacDonald said. “The Maine Warden Service thanks everyone involved for making this a successful search and rescue.”

Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said the resort does not plan to bill the family for the search costs.

“He didn’t intend to leave the ski area boundaries, we’ll take him at his word for that,” he said. “Thankfully he was able to keep his wits up once he was lost.”

Joy was in Maine on a ski trip with his father, Robert. The teen had been skiing on the Timberline trail when he got lost.

Joy hunkered down in a man-made snow cave once he became lost and used the nearby Carrabassett Stream as a source for water.

Game wardens, Navy Seals, Marines and Border Patrol agents were among those who searched for Joy. He was released from Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington on Wednesday.

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