As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, it is important to choose a qualified tour operator when you are going to engage in potentially dangerous recreational activities while you are on vacation. Taking a trip to Hawaii offers a multitude of options for hiking, diving, surfing and other adventures. While these types of activities always come with a measure or risk, the right tour operator can mitigate the dangers so that you can feel confident about your safety.
While it is possible that any tour company may fail in its duty and cause a client to suffer an injury due to operator negligence, you can greatly reduce the chance of such an occurrence by doing your research when you are ready to choose a water recreation tour company. Read below for additional tips to help you book with the right company.
Do a gear check
Before you settle on a tour agency, feel free to stop by their shop and examine the gear. You do not want to head out into the middle of the ocean with a kayak that looks like it is only one more trip away from settling on the sea floor. Be sure any equipment you will be using is in good condition and is not showing signs of sun damage.
Ask about the area covered in the tour
The tour operator should be knowledgeable about the area where you will be engaging in the activity. This includes knowing about potential hazards, having proper licensing to operate in the area, and the company's policy for maintaining a safe distance from other agencies operating in the area.
Do some recon
If you have time to do so, watch how the tour company operates and speak with other people that have recently used its services. Chances are, if you ask other vacationers about their experiences as they are exiting the shop, you will probably get a truthful response. However, if you witness the company sending people out that have been drinking or seem to be under the influence of some kind of substance, walk away. Engaging in water sports while intoxicated can be extremely dangerous. If the tour operator, instructors, or guides allow this, it is not the right agency for you.
While the tips provided above and in Part 1 will help you select a trustworthy tour operator, it is important to remember that accidents still happen. Sometimes they occur due to operator recklessness, even within the ranks of a top-rated company. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while vacationing in Hawaii, you may able to take legal action and fight for compensation for the damages you have suffered.