‘Teen Adventure’ Ends in Presumed Death

     HONOLULU (CN) – An excursion for teen-agers off the Big Island turned tragic when a 15 year-old boy was swept out to sea, and his family has sued the tour guides.
     Michael Madoff sued Bold Earth Teen Adventures in Federal Court on behalf of his son Tyler, who is presumed dead.
     Tyler, 15, from White Plains, N.Y., signed up for a July 4 “Hawaiian Adventure,” including a kayaking excursion to Kealakekua Bay Hawaii State Park, and a visit to the Captain Cook Monument.
     Tyler’s father blames the tour guides for his son’s death.
     “Nearing the end of their kayaking day at Captain Cook Monument, the Bold Earth group team leaders in conjunction with the Pack and Paddle tour guides, ordered a deviation from the planned and allowed itinerary in direct violation of the State of Hawaii issued permit regulations,” the complaint states.
     “Instead of returning from the Captain Cook Monument to the wharf/kayak launching area, the Bold Earth and Pack and Paddle team leaders and guides instructed the teenagers to abandon their kayaks and life jackets, and proceeded to lead the teen-agers on a hike through a heavy brush and forested area to the south shore near the Napoopoo lighthouse.”
     The complaint describes it as a “treacherous and off-limits area” of “lava rock terrain, with violent surf pounding the coastal area waters on July 4, 2012, and flowing through the jagged and cracked sections of lava rock and into various tide pools in the area.”
     Tyler’s dad says: “Dangerous high surf and wave advisories, high tide, and other warnings had been issued by multiple sources for the Kona Coast for July 4, 2012, and the rest of the week.”
     An exhibit in support of the complaint shows the National Weather Service forecast 5-to-8-foot waves for the north, east and south shores of the Big Island that day.
     Madoff says the teen-age adventurers were “instructed” to enter what the tour guides called the “fun zone” of the tidal pools.
     “Others, including Tyler, were struck by the waves and smashed against the lava rocks in the tidal pools. Tyler was then carried away by the rushing, churning, receding waters through the jagged tidal pool toward the cliff of the shore line area and into the ocean.
     “Group team leader [defendant Andrew] Mork, who was witnessed to be in close proximity to Tyler, and despite having a final opportunity to offer him assistance and attempt to provide help to Tyler, instead failed to act according to his alleged training and experience [and] watched Tyler being swept into the ocean,” according to the complaint.
     A fishing boat offered assistance, but first responders, including the Hawaii County Fire Department, Police and Coast Guard never found Tyler.
     Madoff claims that Bold Earth’s president and founder, defendant Abbott Wallis, “did not notify the Madoffs until hours after the event.”
     He claims that Mork, 22, had a “documented history of criminal violations and acts evidencing a criminal background and irresponsibility and showing a questionable character, poor judgment, and lack of responsibility,” yet Bold Earth made him the lead counselor on the tour.
     The Madoffs seek punitive damages for gross negligence and wrongful death.
     They are represented by Charles Brower.
     Defendant Bold Earth, based in Colorado, is owned by defendant Americas Adventure, which offers tours in New York, Hawaii, and around the world.

%d bloggers like this: