September 22nd, 2011
11:23 AM ET

One killed, one injured as zip line collapses in Hawaii

One man was killed and another seriously injured as they tested a zip line on Hawaii's Big Island on Wednesday.

The man who was killed, a 36-year-old from Maui, was about halfway across the 2,300-foot line above a stream bed when a tower holding up one end of line collapsed. He plunged 200 feet into the rocky stream bed and died at the scene. The injured worker, a 35-year-old from Ohio, fell about 30 feet from the collapsing tower and was in critical condition at Hilo Medical Center, according to a statement from the Hawaii Police Department.

The two men were working on a new course at the zip line facility just outside Hilo when the accident occurred, their employer, Experiential Resources Inc. of Maui, said in a statement distributed by On its website, the company bills itself as "the global leader in the designing and building of adventure courses, canopy tours and zip line courses."

The company that owns the zip line, Lava Hotline, told CNN affiliate KHON-TV that all lines at the facility would be closed pending an investigation.

“The course is being shut down for the next two weeks while we do an inspection and make sure that everything is totally safe,” company owner Gary Marrow was quoted as saying.  “It’s been a really difficult day.”

“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," Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi said in a statement on

Audrey Hidano, deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, told CNN affiliate HawaiiNewsNow that zip line operators face little state regulation.

"It's not like a construction contractor. There's no licensing. If anything they register it as a business, pay your general excise taxes, pay your unemployment insurance and all that, but I don't believe there is a license involved in this," she said.

Any government regulation of zip lines would require legislative approval, she said.

Post by:
Filed under: Hawaii • Travel
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Zenith

    My sympathy and condolences go out to the family of this fearless, adventuresome man. This is very sad and tragic. I hope the other person has a speedy recovery.
    I did a 9 zipline course in Costa Rica once and it was scarily exhilirating.
    I hope this company in Hawaii had some provisions for the families of employees who are willing to use themselves to test ziplines so that others can tap into their curious and adventuresome side.

    September 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    I couldnt image the fear in that poor man as the line dropped out and he knew he was fu*ked. So sad.

    September 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • norm

      Do they have to post this a week before I do it...damn!!! But my condolences to the families.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. taos guy

    Adventure is a way way of life...and it is a great loss of life when people do what they love. As for the other dopes who male fun or make rude comments of what happened, they need to get secure with themselves and I will pray them. I would like to send my condolences to the family and will pray for the familyof the injured.

    September 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. filbert

    Sad. A pointless activity that requires no ability or exertion.

    September 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • bhutch

      neither do roller coasters. just FUN.

      September 29, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. t petrock

    I hate riding those things.... Scares the chit out of me, and I don't scare easy.

    September 25, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dizzyd

    I don't think I'll ever ride one! Sad for the guys – but I think ppl make stupid comments 'cuz this stuff makes u realize we all die, so they act all brave. BTW, 'fat' is not an insult – it's just a body shape. Sad ppl have to feel ashamed for looking a certain way.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Yoda

    And the GOP claims there's too much government regulation?

    September 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • crabman

      M O R O N

      October 4, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. sissy

    It's a sad thing to grow up without your Dad. I still have an ache in my heart because my father didn't want my brother and I. He never read us a story, took us to the park or taught us anything. My mom remarried. Our step dad fed us, bought us clothes and kept a roof over our heads. He also beat us with his belt. My brother ended up in prison for many years. To everyone who is neglecting or abusing your kids: you are trying to destroy our greatest treasure. Please get help now. Children need positive attention. If they can't get that, they will act out to get negative attention. If you are a good role model, the children without patents need some quality time. Thank you great parents and quality role models. Our world needs you.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • crabman

      W H A T????????????????????

      October 4, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. sissy

    Instead of patents, please use parents.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Owen

    wow I actually worked on a course in Alaska last summer and this is scary because we sort of boasted our safety standards as well. Things can happen so quickly. My thoughts go out to the families for their loss.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. boris sordo

    zippity-do-dah, zippity-ay
    My-oh-my, what a wonderful day...

    October 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rosetta stone french

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with almost all vital infos. I'd like to peer extra posts like this .

    May 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7