A couple abandoned in the middle of the sea during their honeymoon

A couple abandoned in the middle of the sea during their honeymoon


A California couple sues a Maui-based catamaran tour company. The lovers were reportedly left in the middle of the sea during a snorkeling excursion, USA Today reported.  

The lawsuit was filed on February 23rd. The couple are suing Sail Maui for five million dollars. 

According to the document, Elizabeth Webster and Alexander Burckle were forced to swim to shore on their own on September 23 2021.

The couple say they have been traumatized since being abandoned in rough waters.

“They are actually really traumatized by this. They are undergoing psychological treatment and have physical symptoms of anxiety,” reports Jared Washkowitz, a lawyer who represents Elizabeth Webster and Alexander Burckle. 

The incident

On September 23, 2021, Ms. Webster and Mr. Burckle participated in the Lanai Coast Snorkel Tour. Departing from Lahaina, the group would stop at several snorkeling sites to observe dolphins. 

According to the lawsuit, during the first stop, the captain informed the group of precautions to pick up, without specifying a specific return time. 

After about an hour of diving, the sea became more turbulent. When the couple decided to return to the boat, it had started to drift away. According to the complaint, the duo called for help. 

Another passenger noticed that the couple were far out to sea. However, the crew of the boat told her that the number of passengers was correct. He would have counted three times. The first two counts would have indicated that two people were missing out of 44 passengers. But by the third count, the team would have counted 44 people. 

While trying to follow the boat, which was heading for the second stop, the couple found themselves in deeper water, fearing they would drown, the lawsuit says. “The claimants realized that the ship had left them and was not coming back for them. They decided that their only option for survival at that time was to return to the coast. Nearly a kilometer separated the couple from the shore.

Arrived at the coast, the two were tired and dehydrated. They also had cuts.

Elizabeth Webster reportedly wrote “SOS” and “HELP” in the sand, while waving palm fronds at passing boats with her companion.

In the end, they managed to find another couple and were able to borrow their cell phone to call Sail Maui. The company was unaware of their absence. The company later reportedly transferred the couple to Maui by ferry.

Following an investigation, the Coast Guard charged Sail Mauil with negligence. 

The trial will take place on April 24.