After an explosion injured 23 people aboard a sightseeing boat, the U.S. Coast Guard will no longer allow tour boats to go within 1,000 feet of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.
Footage of the incident shows the moment a huge explosion of molten rock and ash was blasted hundreds of feet into the air and landed on the tourist boat called the Hot Spot. Among those who were injured was the Li family. According to Dawn Li, “We were pelted with the rocks and it' embedded in your scalp and everything and the heat and the steam -- you could feel it.”
Passengers on board at the time said one "lava bomb" that smashed through the metal roof of the boat was the size of a basketball. Christopher Li suffered severe burns on his legs when he fell to the deck after the explosion. Recalling the disaster, he said, “I got covered in really hot rocks and I stayed there for maybe two seconds and got third-degree blistering burns on my legs.”
In the two months that Kilauea has been erupting, 700 homes have been destroyed. In fact, you can still see an orange glow from the eruption as lava continues to make its way down to the ocean.
Operators from Lava Ocean Tours were in charge of the vessel and had a special permit that allowed them to take tourists within 165 feet of the coast. However, a report from CBS News found 2 lawsuits in the past 5 years that accuse Lava Ocean Tours of “failing to warn passengers of dangerous conditions known to Lava Tours," and "dispensing with any kind of risk assessment when selecting an area to view the volcanic eruption." Both lawsuits were settled.
Speak to a Maritime Disaster Attorney Today
Disasters and accidents involving tour boats can happen at any time. When these incidents occur, the negligent party responsible for any injuries you sustain deserves to be held accountable for your damages. There is a unique body of law that applies to ships and vessels, which is why you need an experienced attorney to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
At Rash Mueller., we are prepared to take on cruise ship companies who are only interested in protecting their bottom line. Our team of attorneys won’t back down, and are prepared to take your case to trial if necessary to secure the compensation you are entitled to. We have helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in past settlements from giant corporations. Let us fight for you today.