State land board revokes kayak tour company's permit

State land board revokes kayak tour company's permit
Curt Cottrell
Curt Cottrell

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state investigation determined Hawaii Pack and Paddle committed three infractions of its permit to operate kayak tours in Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

On July 4 the company went over its group limit, stayed at the site longer than allowed, and traveled out of bounds.

"On that day they went approximately a quarter mile off the map over to another location," assistant State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell told the State Land Board.

A wave washed New York teenager Tyler Madoff into the ocean. His body was never found.

Pack and Paddle doesn't dispute deviating from the permitted area.

"Their guides brought the news crew down there and showed them exactly where they went to. So there's pretty good evidence of that," board member Rob Pacheco said.

But the company's attorney told the board his client was pressured into taking the group to the unauthorized area.

"There was something there that prompted this deviation that was outside the norm for this company, and something that they argued against," Bob Frame said.

Bold Earth Teen Adventures organized the summer trip. The Madoff family is suing Bold Earth and Pack and Paddle.

Following testimony from Cottrell and Frame the board voted unanimously to revoke Pack and Paddle's permit for Kealakekua Bay.

"Basically, public safety was jeopardized," Cottrell said.

Frame requested a contested case hearing and said he will interview witnesses here and on the mainland.

"We are all aware that this doesn't end here," he said.

Hawaii Pack and Paddle can appeal the board's ruling at its meeting on October 12.

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