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Tour Company Loses Permit Over Tyler Madoff Death

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Hawaii Pack and Paddle (HPP) had its permit to operate kayak tours revoked Friday, a result of the Fourth of July tour that led to White Plains teen and Scarsdale student Tyler Madoff’s disappearance at sea and presumed death.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources voted unanimously at its bi-weekly business meeting to approve the recommendation from the Hawaii Division of State Parks.

After the incident that swept Tyler, 15, out to sea, the board began an investigation, which revealed three violations, according to the Board of Land and Natural Resources. 

HPP conducted a tour with 13 passengers, while its permit only allowed for 12. It also exceeded the maximum landing time and deviated from the areas it was authorized to take groups.

The Division of State Parks will issue a letter to HPP giving it 30 days of notice that its month-to-month permit has been revoked. The company was issued the permit in 2008 and it has been continued annually by the board since then.

The company will have the opportunity to request that the board reconsider the decision at its Oct. 12 meeting.

Tyler’s parents, Michael and Marianne, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Aug. 21 against HPP and Bold Earth Teen Adventures, which organizes teen summer trips. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages for negligence and infliction of emotional distress.

The family’s lawyer, Susan Karten, has said that two HPP guides and two Bold Earth guides encouraged the teens to veer off the designated trail they were hiking to stop at a tide pool. The guides reportedly called it the “fun zone,” Karten said.

A search-and-rescue mission was called off a few days after Tyler disappeared, and he was presumed dead. A memorial service was held in late July.

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