Using language straight out a Hollywood action movie, the U.S. Coast Guard said it has “terminated the voyage” of a 20-foot vessel after its boater crashed into a navigational light in the Florida Keys.
Two passengers were injured, while another was ejected into the water, the Coast Guard said.
The crash happened Friday night when Kevin Scott Lancaster’s console boat with eight people on board crashed into Garrison Bight Channel Light #3, near Fleming Key.
The Coast Guard said Lancaster, 50, of Key West, was boating under the influence when he hit and damaged the light. A crew from the Coast Guard’s Key West station rescued the passenger who had been thrown overboard. The other two were airlifted to a local hospital.
The Coast Guard cited Lancaster for boating under the influence, gross negligence and having an inadequate number of life jackets on his craft. He was arrested by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on the three misdemeanor charges, and the Coast Guard brought the other uninjured passengers to the shore.
“Boating under the influence is just as deadly as driving under the influence,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Andzelik, a Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstander.
“The Coast Guard will not tolerate putting yourselves and others in danger on the water. You wouldn’t get in your vehicle intoxicated; don’t get in your boat intoxicated,” Andzelik added in a news release.
The Coast Guard didn’t release the names or condition of the injured passengers. They did say, however, that Garrison Bight Channel Light #3 was working properly at the time of the crash.
Lancaster has a court date scheduled for May 23, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.