Authorities are investigating the crash of a boat into the jetty at Clearwater Pass early this morning. Nine people were injured, but only three were expected to be taken to the hospital.
No one appeared to have injuries that were life-threatening, Clearwater police said.
The crash happened at 3 a.m. Clearwater Fire and Rescue responded, along with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The person driving the 21-foot recreational vessel, 26-year-old James John Logal of Largo, was not intoxicated, but was issued a citation for failing to maintain a proper look-out, authorities said. The boat is registered to his father, Michael Logal, according to Fish and Wildlife spokesman Robert Scholl.
The boat, which had a hole in the hull, was towed by Towboat USA this morning from the jetty, Scholl said.
The victims who were hospitalized complained of back pain; one suffered a broken wrist, he said.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Tara Molle said dispatchers there got the call from a "Good Samaritan" aboard a nearby vessel. The caller said he had seen the boat, which was traveling at a high rate of speed, slam into jetty, ejecting all nine people who were aboard into the water.
When a 24-foot Coast Guard rescue boat arrived less than 20 minutes later, all nine people were sitting on the jetty, Molle said. Eight went to the Coast Guard station in Clearwater, and three were taken from there to nearby hospitals. Logal opted to stay with the boat, Molle said, and later was taken from there to Morton Plant hospital by an ambulance.