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44 thoughts on “Do You Trust Any Hawaii Tour After Ocean Stranding Lawsuit?”

  1. Aloha. Thanks for chiming in on this situation. In October of 2019, my friend and I were actually left in the water following 2 “correct” head counts and 1 “correct” equipment count by Gemini Sailing Charters-Maui. They, too, have excellent reviews. Excellent reviews don’t mean diddly squat if you’re the ones left in the water. We contacted the Harbormaster and filed an incident report with the USCG Maui. We were not given the details of the outcome of the investigation except that “new safety rules were put into effect”. Looks like the new rules didn’t work or maybe it was lip service and $$ matters more than safety.

  2. To accidentally abandon anyone on an ocean snorkeling trip is nothing less than gross incompetence.
    I work in surgery. For the past 20 years, it’s been a national US standard to do a “Time Out” before starting: confirm patient’s full name, date of birth, what are we doing, and is it the right or left side procedure. The tourist industry has got to get it’s act together, and do a similar mandatory “Time Out” (everyone stop and listen and confirm the full names of everyone on board) both before and at the end of every tour. People’s lives are in the hands of these tour companies and they must be held responsible. They are presumably insured, so I hope that this couple gets every dime of what they are asking for.

  3. Something is fishy here, and it isn’t the reef dwellers. Every snorkel/dive boat I’ve been on have a roll call to board the boat in the morning (boarding limited to those who paid), and a roll call every time the boat moves. The rule is you only answer for yourself. Pretty much fool proof procedure. Also, the alleged incident occurred in September 2021 – that’s a pretty big delay if it was such a bad experience.

    1. I, too, have found the catamaran snorkel tours I have been on take multiple roll calls by name. And don’t move until each party has been confirmed.
      They also have “life guards” in the water to keep people within acceptable range.

      On Maui – Alii Nui and Trilogy have consistently demonstrated safety practices.

    2. I’ve been on dozens of snorkeling trips and while they do a head count, there’s never been a roll call. One time we Al ost left a young teen behind because he got back in the water after he got on the boat and was already counted. If he hadn’t been with his family, he might have been left behind.

  4. I’m going to guess that the amount of the lawsuit is based on Sail Maui’s liability coverage limits.
    Yes, they screwed up.
    But did they screw up $5M worth? Unlikely.

  5. We have sailed with Sail Maui 8-10 times and absolutely love this company and the boat. I feel badly for this couple. We have never experienced anything but amazing service and a beautiful time. We have another trip soon.

    1. I still have after effects of the stranding a friend and I experienced in Maui with a different “reputable and highly regarded” charter sailing company. Until it happens to you, you will probably continue to think they are a wonderful company. Saul Maui did not even follow the protocols for headcount. $$ ahead of safety. “This has never happened before” wouldn’t mean much if it were you being left in the water.

  6. Yes, a mistake was made but not a 5 million dollar one! I’m afraid what will happen if they are awarded that much based on nothing physical but “emotional trauma”.

  7. I count stuff for a living (I’m a statistican). If the first two counts showed -2 people and the third count shows all present, you count a fourth time. How hard is it to ask everyone to stay where they are for a couple minutes while the crew takes a headcount? Not doing so is negligence in my book.

  8. An unfortunate single and clearly completely unintentional incident is not sufficient to make claims that Sail Maui (or any other tour company) is unsafe, grossly negligent and should be avoided at all costs.

    Without knowing any facts or details, I’m fairly certain Sail Mail owners are horrified this happened. But events such as this ocean stranding are why companies carrying insurance, and why individuals are allowed to file lawsuits.

    1. In the medical industry, specifically as it pertains to hospitals, there are certain untoward events that occur that are labeled as “Never Events.“. That means that they should never be accepted, no matter how rare they are, and they should be catalysts for implementing prompt and significant change to policies and procedures. For Sail Maui, leaving two tourist behind in the open ocean is definitely a “never event.”

  9. Sounds like the crew made a huge mistake, and mistakes happen. That being said, when two persons lives are at stake, it becomes negligence. Even if the couple swam outside any kind of boundary, that’s no excuse to leave them to die. Sail Maui will be paying big time for this “mistake”.

  10. I read about this in the national press, and no matter how I dissect it, the tour company was ultimately responsible. Relying on a “headcount” system is absurd. It’s much too prone to human error. There are better systems. For example, attaching an identification tag to each participant’s wrist with a zip tie. At the end of the dive, the tags are removed and returned to the crew. If an ID tag is missing then a passenger is missing. It’s that simple. I’m willing to bet that Sail Maui will now adopt a similar system.

    1. Instead of a head count just simply call out everyone’s names geez !!! I could only imagine how scary that would have been . Thank Goodness there were no sharks around 🙏

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