A couple honeymooning in Hawaii said a snorkeling tour group left them at sea for more than an hour, eventually forcing them to swim back to shore.
According to nbc newsThe incident happened in September 2021, when Elizabeth Webster and her husband, Alexander Berkeley, went on a snorkeling trip to Lanai, a small island near Maui. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the two detailed their terrifying ordeal. They were among 44 passengers traveling on Sail Maui’s Lanai Coast snorkel tour.
In their lawsuit, the couple said the captain informed everyone abroad that the boat would remain docked at the same spot for about an hour before moving to the next location. Throughout the excursion, the passengers returned to the boat at different times, the lawsuit said. However, when the couple began to make their way back to the boat about an hour later, the water began to choppy and they swam more aggressively towards the boat.
But after about 15 minutes of swimming, the couple realized they “still had made no progress towards the boat”. “At approximately 12:20 p.m., after 15 minutes (approximately) of aggressive swimming, the vessel was apparently as far from Plaintiff as the last time they checked,” the suit said.
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According to new york postOnce the couple realized the boat had capsized, they tried to keep afloat and signal distress, but eventually ended up in even deeper, choppy water. “Both were beginning to panic and were struggling to swim in the rough sea conditions,” he said in his lawsuit. “He feared that sinking was imminent,” the suit added.
However, the pair were eventually able to make it to the shores of Lanai. But the trial noted that they were dehydrated and fatigued. He was helped by a resident of the island, who gave him water and let him use his phone.
Ms Webster then called the snorkelling company and tried to tell the crew they had gone missing on the tour, but the crew member reportedly told the passenger they had made it back. The lawsuit also accused the crew of miscounting everyone who had returned from snorkeling. It said the company did three headcounts, but still didn’t realize the pair were missing until it was too late.
Now, Elizabeth Webster and her husband, Alexander Berkeley, are suing the Maui Sail Company for $5 million for negligence and emotional distress.
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