CINCINNATI -- An appeals court says an Ohio man whose false distress call triggered a massive, 21-hour search on Lake Erie must pay $489,000 to the U.S. and Canadian agencies involved in the needless rescue effort.

In a 2-1 opinion Tuesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati says a lower court properly ordered 21-year-old Danik Kumar of Sandusky to pay back all costs associated with the March 2012 search for a boat in distress.

The two majority judges said the order is "an onerous burden on the shoulders of a young man," but they must deal harshly with costly hoaxes.

The dissenting judge says the estimated cost of the search was too high and shouldn't have included indirect costs.

Kumar's attorney, Edmund Searby, says he's considering appealing.

Associated Press

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