(NEW YORK) — Parents of a New York teen who went missing in the waters off Hawaii blame a tour group for their son’s disappearance after a wave swept him out to sea.
The wave pulled Tyler Madoff, 15, out to sea six days ago after a hiking and kayaking expedition with a tour group from Bold Earth Teen Adventures in Hawaii. The 6-foot wave hit the tour group on Kealakekua Bay, sending Tyler and five other teens into the water. The five were rescued, with a 15-year-old boy still recovering in a Honolulu hospital.
The search for Tyler ended Monday evening after fire officials classified his disappearance as a fatality.
His father, Michael Madoff, blamed Bold Earth Teen Adventures after team leaders from the company led the group into the bay even though officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources warned that they were not allowed to hike or kayak in the area and the group apparently had no permit to be there.
“The people of Bold Earth … have shown poor judgment and extremely poor character,” Madoff said.
He said, however, that there are no plans at this time to take legal action.
Abbott Wallis, the owner of Bold Earth Teen Adventure, said in a statement to ABC News the company did “the very best they could under extremely difficult circumstances.”
A junior at Scarsdale High School in Westchester County, Tyler played outside linebacker for the varsity football team. He won a state medal for the Pelham Community Rowing Association. His coaches and friends told ABC News station WABC he was a leader.
Michael Madoff and his wife, Marianne, are back in White Plains with their two other children.
Remembering his son, Madoff said, “You’re the best of your mother and you’re the best of me. You brought smiles and joy to everybody.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jenni Marsh, CNN
Megan McNulty, Deseret News
Alex Phippen, FamilyShare
Stephen Collinson, CNN