Honeymoon couple abandoned at sea sues Hawaii snorkeling company for $5 million

Stock image of a couple snorkeling in Hawaii

Stock image of a couple snorkeling in Hawaii.Getty Images

  • A couple stranded at sea have sued a Hawaiian snorkeling company for $5 million.

  • The couple’s attorney said they were stranded half a mile from land.

  • A couple who were on Maui for their honeymoon feared they might drown, according to the lawsuit.

A California couple has filed a $5 million lawsuit against a Hawaii tour company after claiming they were abandoned at sea during a snorkeling tour during their honeymoon.

Elizabeth Webster and Alexander Burkle booked a snorkeling tour with tour company Sail Maui while they were honeymooning in Hawaii in September 2021. We are both experienced snorkelers and purchased tickets for her tour snorkeling to Lanai, a small island near Maui.

According to complaints, after the boat reached the snorkeling site, the captain told the group they would have to explore for an hour before moving on to another location. Webster and Burckle said in their lawsuit that they were not given a specific return time, how to return to the boat, or clear advice on what to do in an emergency.

The two were initially snorkeling in calm, clear water, but the water became turbulent. They tried to swim to the boat, but it had already started to leave for the next location.

Crew members counted three, according to the complaint, but said the other passengers were unable to sit or stay still for roll call afterward. “It was so disorganized,” said Jessica Herbert, who was also on the tour. Hawaii News Now. “Everyone kept moving, so it was easy to miss.”

According to the lawsuit, the couple continued to swim, sent out distress calls, and eventually fell into deep, turbulent waters. I was afraid that the threat was imminent,” he added.

They eventually made it to the shores of Lanai, “fatigued and dehydrated,” according to the complaint. Webster wrote “HELP” and “SOS” in the sand, but no boat came to the rescue.

Eventually, local residents found them, allowed them to use their mobile phones, and gave them water.

When Webster called Sail Maui, they apparently hadn’t yet realized someone had gone missing during the tour, the lawsuit says.

Sail Maui did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but has since changed protocol, according to the complaint.

The couple is seeking general damages for emotional distress.

Read the original article at insider