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Land Board revokes permit of tour firm involved in boy's death

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:40 p.m. HST, Sep 14, 2012

A state board has revoked the permit of the kayak company that conducted a West Hawaii coastal tour on July 4 when a wave swept one of their customers — a 15-year-old New York boy — out to sea and to his death.

Hawaii Pack and Paddle has been given 30 days to shut down its operation.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources allowed the company to appeal today's decision for reconsideration at its Oct. 8 meeting.

State Parks assistant administrator Curt Cottrell told the board the company violated three conditions in its permit, including going outside the designated tour area at Kealakekua Bay.

“Public safety was compromised by going out of bounds,” Cottrell said.

Cottrell said members of the tour were about a quarter-mile southwest of the designated area when they ran into trouble.

Tyler Madoff of White Plains, N.Y., was in a tide pool area when he was swept by waves out to sea. His body was never found.

Attorney Robert Frame, representing Hawaii Pack and Paddle, asked the board for more time to prepare his client’s response to the charges.

Frame, interviewed later, said he needed to interview people on the tour and that he understands from talking to the company that “unusual circumstances” led to the tragedy.

Frame said tour participants were warned not to deviate from the designated area but did so anyway.

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