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Four dead after 2 boats collide in Florida

Two boats collide off Florida, leaving four dead

A hit-and-run crash of two pleasure boats left four people dead off the coast of Florida, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, told the Los Angeles Times that the collision occurred Friday night about two miles off the coast of Dinner Key, a marina community less than 10 miles south of Miami.

The victim's identities were not immediately released.

A 36-foot pleasure boat was stuck by a 32-foot vessel around 8:30 p.m., according to a Coast Guard news release. The boat that was struck immediately began to take on water, and at least eight people from the boat were knocked into the ocean.

The boat that caused the collision did not stop, officials said.

Coast Guard officials rescued all eight victims and transported them to Mercy Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital with injuries. One man was pronounced dead at an area hospital a short time later, Laberdesque said.

Salvage crews located the 32-foot boat a short time later, and found two unconscious females aboard the vessel. One of those women was later pronounced dead, Laberdesque said.

Around 7 a.m. Saturday, Miami-Dade firefighters found another woman's body about one mile south of Dinner Key, though Laberdesque did not say which boat that victim had been aboard. The body of another victim, a man who matched a missing boater's description, was found about noon Saturday, also near Dinner Key.

The owner of the 32-foot boat was not aboard the vessel, but told Coast Guard officials his son had taken the vessel out on the water Friday night, according to the news release.

The cause of the wreck remains under investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A call to the agency was not immediately returned.

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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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