HONOLULU (CN) – A whale-watching company seeks exoneration of liability from an accident in which a whale bumped its boat, allegedly injuring passengers. Aloha Whales claims that the off-duty captain of the boat’s charterer was running a “holo holo” (free trip for friends) during the whale bump, so Aloha should be absolved of liability for it.
Aloha Whales claims its seaworthy 32-foot vessel, the A Hui Hou, “was being operated as a bareboat charter to Liquid Robotics, Inc.” on Valentine’s Day this year, when the whale bumped it. It claims the ship was “under the command of Liquid Robotics Inc.’s off-duty employee, Captain Beth Goodwin, who was conducting a ‘holo holo’ (free) trip for her friends.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
Some or all of the seven nonpaying passengers “allegedly suffered injuries when the vessel suddenly was struck by a whale,” Aloha says.
Aloha adds that, holo holo aside, any damages which may be complained of were caused by “acts of God, perils of the sea,” or someone else’s negligence. It denies liability.
Aloha Whales is represented by Richard Wootton with Cox, Wootton, Griffin, Hansen & Poulos of San Francisco.