Florida Keys

A sailboat mishap caused a brief power outage for all Lower Keys customers

Sail boats’s mast hits electrical lines, knocks out power to 29,000 homes

A sailboat captain’s mishap caused the boat to hit the transmission line, or tieline, but no injuries were reported. Power was out for all of Keys Energy’s 29,000 customers from 7:54 p.m. to 8:09 p.m.
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A sailboat captain’s mishap caused the boat to hit the transmission line, or tieline, but no injuries were reported. Power was out for all of Keys Energy’s 29,000 customers from 7:54 p.m. to 8:09 p.m.

A sailboat touched a power line Thursday night near the Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon, knocking out electricity for Lower Keys residents for 15 minutes.

The captain’s mishap caused the boat to hit the transmission line, or tieline, near the north side of the bridge, but no injuries were reported.

Power was out for all of Keys Energy’s 29,000 customers from 7:54 p.m. to 8:09 p.m.

The mistake could have been much worse, said Julio Torrado, Keys Energy’s spokesman.

“Thankfully the sailboat didn’t take the line down so that helped with the speedy recovery,” Torrado said.

Video posted by Southernmost Sunset photography shows the sailboat striking the line, causing a burst of flame and then smoke. Witnesses said the boat was “zapped,” by the collision.

“Just after sunset tonight a sailboat was running parallel with the bridge heading towards The Sunset Grill when he struck the power lines,” Southernmost Sunset posted. “Even with the tide working against him, the captain managed to navigate his ship well enough to not hit the power pole. At the last moment he got the boat to turn into the current and make it away safely. Close call after a direct hit.”

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