If you follow any of the Hawaii news online, you've probably heard about the 15-year-old boy from New York, Tyler Madoff, who was part of a tour group with Colorado based, Bold Earth Teen Adventures and who was lost and presumed dead when he, and others in his group, were struck by a high wave while on a hike and paddle tour at Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island, the Big Island. Fortunately, all of the other members of the group are now safe.
This morning Tyler's parents appeared on the NBC Network Today Show in an extended segment which detailed the known facts around the accident which took their son's life.
The video on the Today Show website, is very difficult to watch. While Tyler's parents have expressed appreciation for many of the folks that assisted them when they rushed to Hawaii Island after learning of the accident, it remains unclear at this time who precisely was responsible for Tyler's group being allowed to wander into a dangerous shore-break area at a time when there were high-surf warnings.
According to reports, Bold Earth Teen Adventures had sub-contracted with Hawaii Pack and Paddle to run this aspect of their extended tour on the island. As reported by KHON2 yesterday, State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Director William Aila has stated that "the area that the incident occurred in was clearly not part of the permitted access area to those companies."
It seems clear that we have not heard the end of the story, although, sadly, searches for Tyler's body have now been called off. Once again, however, we are again reminded, that dangers exist around many corners in Hawaii as in many tourist destinations. Safety should always be on the minds when venturing on any "off-road" activity and visitors and parents of minors should take all reasonable steps to insure that any proposed activity is safe for themselves and members of their family.