Florida

Two seriously injured when boat crashes into channel marker near Ocean Reef

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The Florida Keys are famous for beaches, fishing and great weather. Here's what you need to know about one of the country's top tourism destination.
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The Florida Keys are famous for beaches, fishing and great weather. Here's what you need to know about one of the country's top tourism destination.

Two men were seriously injured when their boat struck a channel marker near the Ocean Reef Yacht Club on Saturday afternoon.

Medics flew Robert Pratt, 70, of Homestead, and Sagar Dhila, 27, of Royal Palm Beach, to Jackson South Medical Center in Kendall around 12:30 p.m. after the 1975 17-foot Aquasport boat Pratt was driving hit Red Marker number 6 in Angelfish Creek in North Key Largo.

Both men were ejected from the vessel, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Bobby Dube said. The extent of their injuries was not clear Sunday afternoon, but Pratt sustained “major trauma to his lower legs,” Dube said, adding both men underwent surgery Saturday.

The men and Pratt’s son, Jonathan Pratt, 31, were picked up by other boaters and brought to Ocean Reef, a private gated community in North Key Largo.

Jonathan Pratt, of West Palm Beach, was not injured, Dube said.

The elder Pratt told officers he accelerated the boat on plane and was not paying attention before hitting the channel marker, Dube said.

The crash remains under investigation by the FWC, Dube said.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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