All Michael and Marianne Madoff wanted was to give their 15-year-old son Tyler an adventure of a lifetime: three weeks kayaking, canoeing, sailing, surfing and hiking in Hawaii. But Tyler's ultimate summer vacation turned into tragedy when he was swept out to sea by a powerful wave during a hike on July 4. Tyler's body has not been found and the search has been called off. And now his parents are left trying to figure out who's to blame for their son's tragic disappearance.

Both Michael and Marianne Madoff blame the tour group, while they in turn blame the company contracted to lead the hike. As they continue to search for answers, the Madoffs want other parents "to be aware of where they're sending their children."

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But how to do that? I'm sure the Madoffs did all the necessary research to make sure they were sending their teen son in a tour where he'd be taken care of and led by a team of experienced guides who knew what they were doing. While the tour company has called it a freak accident, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources told the Associated Press that the tide pool where the accident happened falls outside the area covered by the permit of the contracted company leading the hike. So why were a dozen 14- and 15-year-olds taken there during their hike? 

I can't even begin to imagine what this family is going through and although I understand that figuring out who's to blame is part of the process--and I'm sure there will eventually be some kind of lawsuit--the truth is that nothing will change the fact that they have to continue their lives without their son. 

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I can see how this might have been an amazing opportunity for young Tyler, but I would have a very difficult time sending my teen child off to Hawaii for three weeks while I stayed behind trusting that everything would be okay.

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Whose fault is it that Tyler was swept of to sea by a powerful wave? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below.

Image via NBC

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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