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State: Tour company did not have permit for area where teen swept away

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:37 a.m. HST, Jul 10, 2012

The tour company that took a group of teenagers on a hike where a New York teen was swept out to sea didn't have a permit to be in the tide pool area where the incident happened, state officials said Monday. 

Hawaii Pack and Paddle has a permit from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to take kayaks to a specific spot in the bay and hike along a designated trail. But department spokeswoman Deborah Ward said the tide pool area falls outside the area covered by the permit. 

Tyler Madoff, 15, of White Plains, N.Y., was on a kayaking expedition on the west coast of the Big Island last week with a tour group. They were hiking near the Captain Cook monument at Kealakekua Bay when they stopped to rest at a tide pool, authorities said. That's when large waves washed away Madoff and another 15-year-old boy. 

The other teen, from Miami, Fla., was eventually rescued and is recovering in a Honolulu hospital. 

Madoff was with a group of 11 other 14- and 15-year-olds, along with two contracted guides from Hawaii Pack & Paddle and two Bold Earth Teen Adventures team leaders, said Abbott Wallis, founder of Colorado-based Bold Earth, which organizes teen adventure tours on six continents. 

Ward said the department would decide whether to take action against the company after investigating.

Bari Mims, Hawaii Pack and Paddle owner, said his company is permitted to operate in the area. He also said all of his guides are certified and qualified.

"They went well and above their duties as far as saving lives. That's what it comes down to saving peoples lives. They saved 11 out of 12 lives," Mims said. 

Michael Madoff told the Associated Press on Monday he and his wife, Marianne, are back home in White Plains to be with their two other children. "We just need to be with our family," he said. 

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Anonymous wrote:
“They went well and above their duties as far as saving lives. That’s what it comes down to —saving people’s lives. They saved 11 out of 12 lives,” Mims said. Gotta be kidding me.
on July 10,2012 | 12:17AM
Kokoy wrote:
Yeah thought the same thing....so I guess it's okay to lose "just" one life....what a dbag
on July 10,2012 | 03:38AM
fandm wrote:
I can't believe he had the audacity to say that! I feel so for this boy's parents - You send your child on a trip like this in the hope that they'll gain some exciting experience and come back in one piece with some amazing stories. So, so sad for them. My heart breaks.
on July 10,2012 | 06:07AM
COlohe1 wrote:
Hope the parents change their minds and decide to file a lawsuit.
on July 10,2012 | 07:29AM
Mikilai wrote:
I hope so too, but I bet that tour company doesnt have any money
on July 10,2012 | 09:49AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Makes you want to choke that lolo neck huh?
on July 10,2012 | 07:29AM
hawaiifisherman wrote:
Exactly. The guides didn't "save 11 lives". They put 11 or 12 kids in danger and thankfully the rest of them weren't killed. Nobody should take mainland kids to the shoreline when there's large surf.
on July 10,2012 | 08:07PM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
Get ready Bari Mims, Hawaii Pack and Paddle owner, I see a huge lawsuit on the way. WOW! Your employees saved 11 out of 12. I'm sure that quite comforting to the parents of this young lad. Fortunately though, IF they were outside the permitted area, it lets the state and the taxpayers off the hook in a lawsuit.
on July 10,2012 | 04:04AM
MANDA wrote:
No, it doesn't let the state & taxpayers off the hook. Did DLNR know that tour companies operated outside the boundaries & not do anything about it? Should they have known? I'm betting the answer to both is "yes."
on July 10,2012 | 06:45AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Probably some wimpy judge is going to require signs that say no drink the water hey.
on July 10,2012 | 07:30AM
RandyC73 wrote:
Too Bad!!!!!
on July 10,2012 | 05:21AM
RandyC73 wrote:
on July 10,2012 | 05:22AM
bigtaiho wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 10,2012 | 05:45AM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
Locals drown too. Wow, no discrimination on your part.
on July 10,2012 | 05:57AM
8082062424 wrote:
No it sort of true any one born and raised here is taught from a early age to respect the ocean and keep your guard up. the ocean is a power of it own that no one can control. Sure accidents happen folk loose there lives in the ocean be it local or tourist or even some of the military as we seen. Huge difference when it happen because of stupid actions. and in this case it what happen had they had more respect for the ocean this boy might still be here.
on July 10,2012 | 08:36AM
joewilly wrote:
Shut up!!! It was a freak accident. It could have happened to you or anyone in your family. They had respect for the ocean. They were 30 ft. from the edge. What you want them to do? Tie themselves of to the nearest tree?
on July 10,2012 | 08:53AM
8082062424 wrote:
Some common sense can go a long way with the ocean
on July 10,2012 | 09:10AM
Mikilai wrote:
not really a freak accident, the kids should not have been there in the first place. The guides should have known better!! The local people don't even take their kids there to "REST"
on July 10,2012 | 09:51AM
joewilly wrote:
Exactly!!! Thank you Jimmy!!! I'm so sick of "locals" talking about, "oh we don't do that or haoles don't know the local waters or we were taught not to play in tidepools". Bull!! Locals make mistakes all the time that cost them there lives. In diving, surfing, fishing, exploring, pick opihi. It was a freak accident. I talk to people who were there and live there. The kids were a minimum of 30 ft. from the shore. A freak wave came up and washed them out to sea. There was nothing anyone could have done except jump in the water right away and try and find the kid. By then he could have already hit his head on the rocks and been knocked out. Drowned quickly. It could have happened to anybody. Even "LOCALS".
on July 10,2012 | 08:49AM
8082062424 wrote:
Ocean Safety Checklist: Admit that you are not an expert, and do not attempt to be one. Ask lifeguards for advice. Be honest about your swimming ability. The ocean is not a swimming pool. Never turn your back on the ocean. Being hit by a wave while you're not watching can cause serious injury. Waves can sneak up on one. If you get caught in a current do not struggle against it. Rip currents are usually narrow, so calmly swim perpendicular to the current direction to get out of it, and then you will be able to swim back to shore. If you need help, shout “Help” (and not a family member’s name) or wave an arm to get attention. Always remain calm and relaxed in the ocean, whether you get caught in a current, hit by an unexpected wave, or bump into a turtle. Panic leads to drowning because of uncoordinated movement, sporadic breathing, and increased oxygen usage. Never take your eye off children in the water, no matter how calm the ocean. After watching the ocean for 30 minutes, only enter the water if you can handle waves 2x the size of what you've already seen. The only way to get a good idea of what the ocean is capable of throwing at you that day is to check the local surf report or ask a life guard. Remember, people also drown after being swept off rocks. Watching big waves from rocks next to the ocean is a very dangerous activity. Know the surf report before you approach any exposed location. A current can pull you away even in waist high water. Boogie board in conditions that suit your skill level. However tempting, don’t follow local kids when the waves aren’t breaking nicely. Don’t over estimate your swimming ability with snorkel gear. Snorkeling is a strenous activity. The ocean can be extremely inviting even in dangerous conditions. When in doubt don't go out; im sorry any one more and raised in the hawaii know this.
on July 10,2012 | 09:05AM
quint34 wrote:
Guides who know area should know south swells slam certain areas. Being an uninformed tourist is one thing, but a professional guide should have checked the forecast, pre planed the route and monitored conditions through the day and relayed all danger areas to team. 4 guides for 12 kids, this should not have happened
on July 10,2012 | 07:06AM
sweetness613 wrote:
You saying this does not happen to locals. I seen some locals doing some dumb things to. You remember the girl that had to be saved at Laie Point. Yea lucky she was saved. We are humans and we all make mistakes.
on July 10,2012 | 09:26AM
8082062424 wrote:
This a a group in charge of minors and the put all these kids in danger. any one born and raised here is taught to respect the ocean and never turn your back. Like any place else locals no matter what the area no things folks who just go to visit do not.
on July 10,2012 | 10:00AM
bstnwhaler wrote:
They wouldn't have had to save any lives if they followed the rules & not be where they weren't supposed to be. What a dumb statement. They will be sued for their arrogance and no brains.
on July 10,2012 | 06:08AM
jomama wrote:
on July 10,2012 | 06:25AM
sweetness613 wrote:
No not racist just lolo
on July 10,2012 | 09:30AM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Tour company is at fault for taking unsuspecting visitors to dangerous places without heeding caution. According to this article... only two teens were swept by the wave. So how come the tour company is taking credit for saving 11 lives?
on July 10,2012 | 06:58AM
postmanx wrote:
A very tragic accident for everyone and Bari Mims is lacking in remorse for sure. None the less the State should not have to pay for it. Hiking, kayaking etc in nature has it's risks. Life has it's risks. The State AKA all of us tax payers should not have to pay for the bad decisions of individual people. Nature is just that nature...no doubt it was a freak accident and the child should not have been where he was, but that's not the fault of the tax payers or government. If we keep up on this road no one will be able to go anywhere with out getting a permit and paying a fee into the sue fund.
on July 10,2012 | 07:11AM
MANDA wrote:
It's the state's bad choice to issue permits close to and/or for dangerous areas.
on July 10,2012 | 08:00AM
Mikilai wrote:
TRUE, they should take away the permits for this company, soon they will go bankrupt
on July 10,2012 | 09:53AM
Ripoff wrote:
Bari Mims, you're arrogant!
on July 10,2012 | 07:28AM
Kuokoa wrote:
These tour companies are ALAYS going where they are not permitted to do so. Now someone has been lost and the tour company should have to pay for it an be shut down!
on July 10,2012 | 08:09AM
bluemoki wrote:
Why is everyone rushing to judgment? The State says they weren't allowed, the tour owner says they were. There is obviously a very different opinion and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it is the State that got it wrong! I think the attorneys will hash this out in court.
on July 10,2012 | 08:30AM
hilopango wrote:
Their guides may have been "certifed and qualified" but for where and under what conditions? There are many areas on all of our Hawaiian islands that are treacherous and not to be dealt with by those without knowledge of the conditions, or how those conditions can change in a heartbeat.
on July 10,2012 | 08:48AM
gobows wrote:
i hope those guides have their certifiates revoked.
on July 10,2012 | 11:39AM
MANDA wrote:
There is no 'certification' or 'qualification' for tour guides. Any yahoo can join up with a company and go out as long as the company holds a permit - and sometimes even when they don't. The state issues some water licenses, but they aren't applicable to kayak guides.
on July 10,2012 | 01:21PM
rayhawaii wrote:
I wasn't there but looks like to me they could of prevented endangering 12 out of 12 lives.
on July 10,2012 | 09:04AM
lowtone123 wrote:
Somebody's in trouble...
on July 10,2012 | 10:14AM
Napualokelani wrote:
Horrible. Even the comment I read on www.abcnews.com where someone from Bold Earth said their people went above and beyond... WTF?
on July 10,2012 | 10:42AM
lucky181 wrote:
News media articles are very confusing. Some say the parents are blaming the Hawaii tour group but their statement faults Bold Earth for not having someone there to search for Tyler or to see if he was found. Bold Earth hired Hawaii Pack and Paddle so I would imagine that any lawsuit against Bold Earth will have Bold Earth blaming Pack and Paddle since they were supposed to be the experts concerning HI waters. The parents also said they had no plans for a lawsuit, but if it's true that there was no permit for the tidal pools area, a lawyer might convince them to change their minds. Bold Earth could argue that they had 2 tour leaders and they had to take care of the other 10 students left since they must have been traumatized. The owner of Bold Earth should have flown here to support the family.
on July 10,2012 | 11:50AM
lucky181 wrote:
Just read an interview the father did with his local newspaper. They are now considering a lawsuit because the Bold Earth guide took the kids on a hike to the shoreline after the Hawaii Pack and Paddle guide told him not to do it because it was too rough. The Bold Earth guide lied to the father and said the HI kayak guy said it was ok.
on July 10,2012 | 01:11PM
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