Couple accuse Hawaiian snorkeling tour company of abandoning them in ocean
California newlyweds claim they returned to boat after dive to find it sailing away
A California couple has filed a $5m lawsuit against a tour company in Hawaii which it claims abandoned them in the middle of the ocean during a snorkeling tour.
In September 2021, Elizabeth Webster and her husband, Alexander Burckle, were on their honeymoon in Hawaii during which they booked a snorkeling excursion with the boat tour company Sail Maui.
In a statement to Insider, the couple’s attorney Jared A Washkowitz said that the tour company “didn’t give set boundaries for snorkeling” nor identify a lifeguard for the excursion or make sure that the snorkelers had a buddy system.
At one point, the waters became increasingly turbulent and the couple attempted to swim towards the boat. However, after around 15 minutes of swimming, the pair discovered that they “still had not made progress towards the boat”.
“The water was choppy and Plaintiffs started swimming more aggressively towards the Vessel,” the suit stated, NBC reports. “At approximately 12:20 p.m., after another 15 minutes (approx.) of aggressive swimming, the Vessel was clearly farther from Plaintiffs than it was at the last time they had checked.”
The lawsuit claims that crew members did three headcounts but according to other passengers, the crew did not ask them to stay still during the counting process.
READ MORE HERE > In The Observer