Last weekend's operation to rescue seven British mountaineers trapped in Escorca, cost 6.392.25 euros, just over one million pesetas, according to Francesc Buils, the Insular Council of Majorca's environment chief. Buils said that the costs, which do not include material, include the hours worked by 12 Insular Council of Majorca fire fighters, six members of the Guardia Civil and their sargeant as well as duty officer which cost 6.100 euros. 12 vehicles were involved in the operation and the high cost of the rescue is one of the reasons why the Insular Council is considering charging the victims in future rescue operations. “It is unfair that the public should pay for the carelessness of a few,” Buils said. The seven mountaineers carried all the necessary equipment, but were caught out by the strong currents when canyoning in sa Fosca, an area the group had visited at least 15 times. One of the team members, David Irons, said on Monday that he had in fact consulted two of Majorca's leading mountain guides about conditions in the gorge prior to departing on the weekend expedition. He admitted they had not been given the accurate information and in hindsight, it had probably not been a good idea, but they went through all the necessary checks and briefings before setting out. The group was trapped on a one metre square rock for 24 hours with most of their provisions and equipment washed away by the current in “freak” conditions in the gorge.

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