10 in hospital after boats collide near Elliott Key

Two boats with a total of 18 people aboard crashed into each other in the waters west of Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park Sunday night, sending 10 people to the hospital.

“It was a violent collision,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said. “We’re very fortunate no one was killed.”

The crash happened when a 36-foot Carrera powerboat carrying about 16 people collided with another boat carrying two people at about 6:30 p.m., Pino said.

The second vessel — officials have not yet said what kind of boat it was — sank.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel, FWC officers and Coast Guard rescuers responded to the crash.

One injured boater was airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center, and nine more were hospitalized there after rescuers took them to shore, Pino said.

The damaged Carrera was towed to Black Point Marina in Cutler Bay.

Carreras are fast, powerful boats often used for ocean fishing.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash, Pino said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.