The recent volcanic explosion that spewed hot rocks and injured 23 passengers on a lava boat tour off of Kapoho is raising questions of safety. Four lava boat tours have licensed to tour the volcanoes, but following the explosion, 3 decided to take a day off to allow conditions to improve. However, one company continued to offer the tours, letting passengers determine whether they wanted to take their chances given the dangerous conditions. The majority of passengers noted that they were aware of the dangers but wanted to forge ahead.
The earlier incident occurred when the lava boat was roughly 200-meters from the lava entry. The Coast Guard had approved the tour boat company to come within 50 meters, a relaxation from the previous 300-meter boundary. However, the Coast Guard has since reinstated the 300-meter limit.
Many of Hawaii’s tourist attractions also involve elements of dangers. In all cases, it is important that customers/passengers are made fully aware of those dangers and necessary safety precautions. Where tour operators fail to adequately warn or take necessary precautions, they may be held liable when accident occur – if they have placed customers in an unreasonable risk of harm. In the incident where passengers sustained injuries, it is unknown whether any negligence occurred.
For more information, or if you or a loved one has sustained any type of injury in a Hawaii tourist activity, please contact our dedicated Hawaii personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.