A tourist in Maui has opened a civil suit against a Maui beach resort after a beach recommendation provided by the staff of the lodging led to severe injuries. The man and his family visited the “Big Beach” in the Makena Beach State Park, when a wave hit him and he fell on the Ocean sand, hitting his head and leaving him paralyzed.
The court ultimately ruled in favor of the resort, concluding that it “had no general duty to warn its guests of dangers well beyond” its property line. Thus the lawsuit ended with no compensation for the men or his family.
Makena Beach State Park is one of the really popular beaches in the state.The beach has white sand that extends to nearly two thirds of a mile. Tourists visit this island for a relaxing beach experience and enjoy the amazing views of the islands of Molokini and Kahoolawe.
The area encompasses two different beaches aptly named the Big Beach and the Small Beach. Both of the beaches are remote and secluded and usual beach amenities like showers or bathrooms are hard to find. While the big beach is somewhat popular among travelers ready for a long trip, the Small Beach is just a cove without a lifeguard and despite prohibitions from the state park regulations, Little Beach is often used as a nude beach.
According to details of the circumstances surrounding the accident though, the beach had a big “Dangerous Shorebreak” sign warning visitors of the rough waves surrounding the area. Furthermore, lifeguards were making announcements on the PA system about the less than ideal conditions of the waves.
Maui’s beaches are known to be notoriously dangerous. In 2019, it was reported that the beaches in the island of Maui contributed to the highest number of spinal injuries taking place in Hawaiian beaches. Unsurprisingly, it was Makena that led the state which included accidents resulting in injuries in Big Beach, Little Beach and six unspecified locations.
Also in Maui, the famous “Black Rock” and its surrounding area are considered the “No 1. Drowning capital” by its very high number of drowning deaths due to snorkeling and cliff diving, yet there are no warnings and no lifeguards.
This is just another of several reports of tourists sustaining injuries and losing their lives after ignoring safety signs. Just last month, a tourist died while cliff diving off the coast of Kaui and last week, over 300 people had to be rescued by coast guard after being swept to the open sea.
This is not the first time tourist resorts in Hawaii have been sued for being allegedly not caring enough either. This February, Hawaii’s Maui’s Grand Wailea resort was sued for its bright lights that attract Hawaiian petrels, disorienting them and making them lose their ground which results in their death.
It may be tempting for beachgoers to explore uncharted beaches after getting tired of crowded popular beaches and even more so for counter cultural people to make it their home for their ‘thing’ but the waters at this part of the pacific do not come without their perils.
It is strictly advised to follow the signs and not enter restricted areas however enticing they may seem, the signs are usually put for a reason. It’s also important that you only swim on the beaches where there are trained lifeguards and within their vision so you can signal them when things go wrong.
It is important to be a responsible tourist while visiting this belle of the pacific which is already rummaged with problems of over tourism, gentrification, water shortages etc. Issues like these are making the locals annoyed to the point that they don’t want tourist back after the pandemic is over which makes it even more essential as a visiting individual to be as sympathetic as they can be.
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