Boat crashes into Florida restaurant

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A 39-foot boat crashed into a restaurant in Ruskin, Fla., late Monday afternoon, injuring two people aboard.

The boaters told investigators that they got lost in fog and didn't realize they were near land when their Sea Vee crashed into the Sunset Grill at Little Harbor, according to the Tampa Tribune.

The force of the collision caused a portion of the building's roof to collapse. No restaurant workers or customers were injured, but the building had to be evacuated, Nacole Revette, a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman, told the paper.

Fire crews stabilized the roof and removed an injured person from the boat, Revette said. The boater, who was in stable condition and not identified, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

The other injured boater took himself to the hospital. The injuries were not life-threatening, said Baryl Martin, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The boaters told investigators that they could not see well because of the fog, Martin said.

“The fog was rolling in and did obstruct the operator's view,” Martin said. “He struck the beach and the building.”

There were seven people aboard the boat, which was equipped with four 300-hp outboards. The boaters had left from the Little Harbor area and went fishing offshore. They were returning to Little Harbor when the crash occurred, Martin said.

The conservation commission is investigating. Hillsborough Code Enforcement responded because of the damage to the building, Revette said.

The Tampa Bay region remained under a dense fog advisory this morning that closed the Port of Tampa and stranded several ships offshore, according to reports.


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