Florida Boat Crash Hospitalizes 9: Boat Sinks After T-Bone Collision
A Florida boat crash involving two vessels sent nine people to the hospital over the weekend. According to AP, one of the boats involved in the Florida boat crash, a 28-foot Wellcraft, sank. The two boats carried a total of 18 people, and authorities say it appeared that one craft had t-boned the other. Occupants of both vehicles were flung into the water.
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WSVN reports that the accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. Sunday near Elliott Key, the northernmost of the Florida Keys located in Biscayne National Park in Florida's Miami-Dade County.
"They collided," Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Jorge Pino told WSVN. "We don't know exactly why they crashed, but there was a pretty violent collision, enough that it sent one person to the hospital via helicopter."
According to ABC News, investigators said charges could be filed against the boats' captains should authorities determine that either one violated Florida boating laws. Luckily for them, sobriety tests administered at the scene showed that neither one had anything to drink.
"Whenever there is an accident on Florida's waterways its incumbent upon both captains of the respective vessels to maintain a proper lookout," Pino said.
In 2011, Florida, where boating is a year-round activity, led the nation as the number one state for boating accidents and fatalities. Tampa Bay Times reported that there were 742 boating accidents in Florida in 2011 that resulted in 67 fatalities.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Law Enforcement, or FWC, the most common kind of injury from boating accidents were lacerations, followed by broken bones, contusions, head injuries and back injuries. The majority of victims (about 60 percent) were occupants of the vessels, not the operators.
The FWC reports that about 66 percent of boat operators involved in accidents had no formal boater education. While boating accidents involving crashes can certainly be deadly, the main cause of boating fatalities is not collision. According to the FWC, passengers falling overboard was the main cause of boating deaths. Also, most accidents occurred on a lake or pond, not the ocean.
Everyone injured during Sunday's Florida boat crash are expected to recover.
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