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Land Board Revokes Permit For Kayak Tour Company

September 14, 2012, 4:37 PM HST
* Updated September 14, 5:04 PM
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The Board of Land and Natural Resources today voted to revoke the permit for the Big Island kayak tour company involved in the July death of a New York teenager.

Hawaii Pack and Paddle has held a permit since 2008 to land and launch kayaks at Kaawaloa Flats at Kealakekua Bay State Park in Kona.

The company was contracted by a Colorado-based tour company for a kayaking excursion for 12 teens on July 4. When the group decided to rest near tide pools near the Captain Cook monument, a large wave washed two of the teens into the ocean.

One was rescued, but the body of the other, 15-year-old Tyler Madoff of White Plains, NY, was never found.

Last month, the Department of Land and Natural Resources sought to have Hawaii Pack and Paddle’s permit revoked, saying the company violated three of its terms.


The DLNR said the company exceeded the number of allowed passengers and the maximum allowed stay period of 2½ hours, and also ventured outside of the allowed area.


Curt Cottrell, the state’s assistant parks administrator, told board members meeting in Honolulu that public safety had been jeopardized.

According to Hawaii News Now, the company’s attorney, Bob Frame, asked for a contested case hearing on the matter.

Under the terms of the permit, the company has 30 days to suspend operations at the bay. Hawaii Pack and Paddle can ask for a reconsideration of the ruling at the board’s next meeting on Oct. 12.


Madoff’s parents last month filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu seeking damages from Hawaii Pack and Paddle and Bold Earth Adventures of Colorado.


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