Statement From Piiholo Zipline Company Regarding Today’s Death

Statement from Piiholo Zipline company regarding the death that happened at the zipline company today:
Piiholo Ranch Zipline

The Piiholo Zipline Ohana expresses its condolences and sympathy to those involved in today’s tragic event. We especially offer our deepest aloha and prayers to the family and friends of our co-worker Patricia “Trish” Rabellizsa at this difficult time. We are working in full cooperation with the Maui Police Department’s ongoing investigation.

KapohoKine Adventure Issues Statement on HIOSH’s Report on the Death at a Hawaii Island Zipline

Regarding the report issued by Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division on the death at a Hawaii Island zipline last year, Tony DeLellis of KapohoKine Adventures issued the following:

“It doesn’t change the tragic loss of a human life,” said DeLellis, “and it troubles us that more rigid standards weren’t applied to these lines by the builder” (Experiential Resources, Inc. and GoZip LLC).

“Lava Hotline’s decision to independently evaluate the course was well founded,” DeLellis said.

Following the accident last fall, which caused the death of an employee of the zipline builder who was testing the line, the operator for the lines, Lava Hotline, hired independent engineers to evaluate the course. “That choice was clearly a sound one,” DeLellis said. The entire course was redesigned and is being rebuilt by an accredited zipline builder. Platforms are being rebuilt, supports are being reinforced and every anchor has been replaced and is undergoing intensive testing.

KapohoKine, a Hilo-based adventure tours company, booked zipline excursions through Lava Hotline. KapohoKine suspended zipline tours after the incident, awaiting full evalutation of integrity of the lines.

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Pictures Released From My Zipine Trip With KapohoKine Three Months BEFORE the Death at Honoli’i Mountain Outpost

Investigators have now stated that the  platform that collapsed on the September 21st zip line accident that happened at KapohoKine’s Honoli’i Outpost killing a Maui resident who had been working on the lines, had previously collapsed two months previously before the incident.

One of the workers rides over line four back in June

The Hawaii Tribune stated:

A pair of stabilizing anchors failed to keep a zip line platform from collapsing, killing one worker and critically injuring another on Sept. 21, according to a police report.

Additionally, contractors working on the project told police that the same zip line — Line No. 8 at the Honolii Mountain Outpost course recently built for Hilo-based eco-tourism company KapohoKine Adventures — had experienced a similar collapse prior to the accident that claimed the life of 36-year-old worker Ted Callaway…

The Maui News reported that the platform previously collapsed TWO months before the accident:

A police report says the Big Island zipline tower that collapsed and sent a worker plunging to his death had experienced a similar collapse eight weeks prior...

I had previously been up to Honoli’i Mountain outpost about THREE months before the accident when I rode the first four lines.  The other lines were still being constructed.

So basically what this tells me… is that the platform collapsed the first time about a month after it was built and ready to be ridden as I was there three months before the accident and they weren’t completed yet.

I only published a few of the pictures I took three months ago on my site previously.  Now that more information is coming out… I figured I would publish the rest of the pictures from my June 16th zip line trip with KapohoKine at the Honoli’i Outpost.

Zipline Death Prompts KapohoKine to Suspend Booking Zipline Tours

KapohoKine Adventures (KKA), an eco-tourism company based in Hilo and with islandwide operations, confirmed that it has suspended booking zipline tours pending a full evaluation on the soil composition and structural integrity of the lines.

KapohoKine Ziplines

The entrance to the Honoli'i Outpost KapohoKine Zip Line Course

In September, a not-yet-operational line that was undergoing final testing at Lava Hotline’s site by the company that installed it, failed.  One construction worker was killed and another seriously injured.

KKA has used Lava Hotline exclusively for its zipline tours.  Lava Hotline closed the operation pending evaluation and KKA will not book tours at other ziplines until the causes of the accident are fully understood.

“KKA wants to see the reports of the soil, structural engineering and architectural consultants that Lava Hotline retained to evaluate the ziplines,” said KKA co-owner Tony DeLellis.  Those evaluations are underway on the seven other Lava Hotline ziplines in the same area as the one that failed.  Lava Hotline zipline is owned by KKA partner Gary Marrow.

KapohoKine Ziplines

KapohoKine Zip Line

Launched in 2004 from a garage in Kapoho (hence the name), KapohoKine Adventures has helped shape Hawaii Island’s new age of tourism.

“We provide guests to Hawaii Island the best experience possible, introducing them to what makes this island unique, with its volcanic eruptions, incredible vistas and seascapes and we do it in a way that is a cut above what was being offered when we started,” said DeLellis.

KKA is continuing its popular eco-tours, minus zipline experiences.

KapohoKine Ziplines have been suspended indefinitely

With one 2004 Chevy Suburban and one guide (co-owner Gary Marrow), the partners began their specialized eco-adventures, marketing heavily to cruise line visitors.  In 2007, the company moved its expanding fleet out of the Kapoho garage into a 4,800 sq. ft. baseyard in Pepeekeo.

Then the economy and the island’s cruise line passenger count plunged the following year.  The company scrambled and has managed to survive.  DeLellis is proud that even during the tough economic times, KKA never let go of any of its 25 employees.

As discerning visitors look for more meaningful experiences, the KKA ohana (Hawaiian for family) searches for ways to reshape and improve eco-tourism, by developing experiences suited to visitors on both sides of Hawaii Island.

“Our tours are as much about education and preservation of the environment as they are about an exciting adventure,” says DeLellis.

KKA’s outdoor adventures include road trips through lava country in Puna, interpretive walks at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, barbeques at KKA’s partner macadamia nut and honey farm, helicopter and aerial flights above secluded native rainforests, cascading waterfalls and craters.

Zipline adventures, long used as transportation in mountainous regions and at ski resorts, become a worldwide attraction for eco-travelers and Hawaii Island allows ziplines on agricultural land as an open area recreational use.  KKA added them to its menu of services in 2010.

While KKA suspended booking any zipline tours, pending the reviews by specialists, it continues its other high-value tours.  On a given day, the Hilo-based eco-tour company will field 18 vehicles (14 from Hilo, four from a second base in Kona that opened in 2009) and as many as 250 visitors.  Customers range from local school children to honeymooners and eco-tourists of all ages.

KKA has a storefront on Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo, which carries eco-adventure gear from Patagonia and Keen footwear, plus locally made jewelry and Atebara snacks.  The store is also a gathering place where people talk story about their adventures as well as enjoy downtown Hilo.

KKA and its partners also have a strong sense of stewardship when it comes maintaining and celebrating the natural beauty of Hawaii.  The KapohoKine team regularly cleans up litter along the highway and the slopes of Mauna Kea, and contributes to many local charity fundraisers.

“We’re honored that groups big and small, from St. Joseph’s School in Hilo to national organizations such as the Make A Wish Foundation, have approached us for help,” said DeLellis.  “It’s so fulfilling to be able to help local and national groups experience the wonder of Hawaii Island where they otherwise might not be able to.”

For more information on KapohoKine Adventurers, visit http://www.kapohokine.com.

Video of KapohoKine Zipline – Honoli’i Mountain Outpost

The following youtube clip is from KapohoKine’s Honoli’i Mountain Outpost.

KapohoKine Zipline #8

KapohoKine Zipline #8

This is the final run on the course and as you can see, it’s quite long. (Youtube clip removed)  This is not the run that the contractor lost his life on last week… this is run 4 that I went on a few months ago.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/53Ii1jcu6CE]

For more information on the Zip Line tragedy that happened last week, you can view here: Zip Line Death at KapohoKine Honoli’i Outback Adventures

Zip Line Death at KapohoKine Adventures Honoli’i Outback Adventures

(I Have updated this post as I have learned more information about it.  All updates are noted in BOLD)

I’m stunned to learn that there was a death today and an injury at KapohoKine Adventures Honoli’i Outback Zip Line Adventures.

The fourth set of ziplines at Honoli'i Outpost

The following is all of the information that I have received so far:

There was a fatality and an injury today involving two people on the zip line, possibly workers who were testing it out…

UPDATE…Fire officials say rescue crews airlifted a male victim to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.  Officials say another man was found dead at the scene…

UPDATEHawaii County Fire Capt. Chad Shirota said the accident happened at the KapohoKine Adventures zipline in Paukaa north of Hilo. The incident was along Honolii Stream, 3.8 miles up from Kulana Street, a fire department news release said.

The incident was reported at 9:39 a.m. and the first fire rescue unit reached the scene at 9:57 a.m., the fire department said.

Police spokesman Chris Loos said a tower supporting a zipline collapsed. The person who died was riding the zipline and the injured person was on the fallen tower, Loos said…

UPDATE: The victim was a contractor working for Kapohokine Adventures, police said.

It is unknown what kind of work he was doing and whether he was on the zip line at the time. The man was from Maui, police said.

Another man was critically injured in the accident, Big Island fire department officials said. 

Police said there appears to have been a malfunction with the zip line equipment near Honolii Stream. Police said a support tower may have fallen.

UPDATE:  Star Advertiser reports “Hawaii County police Capt. Randall Medeiros said a 36-year-old Maui man was killed and a 35-year-old Ohio man was injured.

Work was being done on the zipline today by Experiential Resources Inc., KapohoKine co-owner Gary Marrow said. Medeiros said the workers were tightening a cable on a 2,300-foot zipline span after the company received complaints it was too slow. The Maui man was halfway through a test run when the tower fell, Medeiros said. The injured man was on the tower when it collapsed, Medeiros said. Police spokesman Chris Loos said a tower supporting a zipline collapsed. The person who died was riding the zipline and the injured person was on the fallen tower, Loos said.”UPDATE: The worker that was killed and injured came from Maui based ERI. Here is their link:  http://experientialresources.net/

I myself was just on these ziplines a few months ago and posted the following post about them: KapohoKine Adventures Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Zipline Rides Almost Finished.

Just last week they released this video on youtube announcing the opening of the place:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/m8CVvYLfkvM]

UPDATE – POLICE RELEASE:
A Maui man died and an Ohio man was critically injured in a zip line accident Wednesday morning in Paukaʻa.

Both men were employed by a Maui company that builds and maintains zip lines. They had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it.

The 36-year-old Maui man had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when a tower collapsed and he fell approximately 200 feet to his death.

The 35-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries.

*UPDATE* Big Island Chronicle reports:

…Both men were employed by the Maui-based Go Zip that builds and maintains zip lines all over the world, according to Gary Marrow, a partner of Kapoho Kine Adventures and owner of Lava Hotline. The zipline construction workers had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it, according to police who investigated the accident.

One of the workers, a 36-year-old Maui man, had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when a tower collapsed and he fell approximately 200 feet to his death, police said.

Another zipline construction worker, a 35-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries, according to police.

“They were construction guys working on the course the last eight months, working on a course that is not even open yet” Marrow said, referring to what is being called “Honolii Mountain Outpost…”

More Here: Maui-Based Construction Worker Falls 200 Feet to His Death Installing Honoli’i Zipline

UPDATE: Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi Released the Following Statement:

UPDATE: Mayor Billy Kenoi released the following statement:

“I want to express our concern and condolences to the families of both men involved in this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

“We will conduct a careful, thorough review to determine all of the facts in this case. We need to know exactly what happened and why, and we need to know exactly what went wrong. When we have completed that review and the facts are known, we will release our findings publicly.”

UPDATE: The following was released by Experiential Resources the company contracted to build the ziplines:

UPDATE: Media Release from KapohoKine Adventures:

Experiential Resources, Inc (ERi), the construction company contracted by Lava Hotline in Pauka’a, experienced a tragic construction accident today that resulted in two injuries, one of which was fatal. There were no Lava Hotline employees affected.

As KapohoKine Adventures doesn’t have direct involvement in either the build or operation of the Pauka’a property, we have no further information or details on the accident, but additional information will be made available by ERi.

KapohoKine Adventures offers our sincerest condolences to the entire ERi and Lava Hotline ‘ohanas, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those affected.

We appreciate the outpouring of support received from the community through phone calls and emails, and will share all of them with everyone directly affected, and we ask everyone to join us in respecting ERi’s request to honor the privacy and dignity of the affected families during this difficult time.

For additional information, contact:

ERi – John White, President, Todd Domeck, Owner (808) 665-5406 jwhite@experientialresources.net

KapohoKine Adventures – Gary Marrow, Owner (808) 964-1000