Big Island Kayak company could lose permit

Published On: Sep 10 2012 06:41:00 PM HST

The state land board will meet Friday to consider revoking the permits for a Big Island kayak tour company.

Hawaii Pack and Paddle has been under scrutiny after one of its customers--- a New York teenager---- was swept out to sea at Kealakekua Bay this summer.

Two months ago, Hawaii Pack and Paddle was thrust into the headlines, when 16-year-old Tyler Madoff was swept out to sea by a large wave.

The state cited Pack and Paddle for three violations. It said on that day, the company had too many passengers, its tour was too long, and it was operating in an area not covered by the permit.

Back in July, State Land Director William Aila had shared his concerns that the company did not stay in the landing area. The teens were in a tide pool when the large waves hit.

The state also found that the company had under-reported the number of customers, saying it had four, and ultimately underpaid the state.
The permit requires a $5 per person fee.

The Parks division staff maintains that because Pack and Paddle breached its contract, it should lose its operating permit.
Pack and Paddle’s attorney Bob Frame said he was just hired four days ago. He is asking the state to delay the proceedings until he has time to fully investigate the matter.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources declined comment For years, management of Kealakekua has been an issue and the permit system for the Captain Cook Monument was an effort to control the problems with unlicensed businesses operating in the area.



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