Boat slams into Ruskin restaurant – fog an issue; no injuries

February 24th, 2015 by Staff

The 39-foot Sea Vee emerged from the fog just before 5 pm on Monday and struck the Sunset Grill.

(WFLA.COM) RUSKIN, Fla. – It was like a scene out of an action movie – a boat comes flying out dense fog on a beach and slams into a popular restaurant.

It happened at Little Harbor in Ruskin, at the popular restaurant, Sunset Grill.

The 39-foot Sea Vee came out of nowhere, say eyewitnesses, at around 4:45 pm. Monday afternoon.

Seven people were on board when the boat barreled onto the beach and plunged into the restaurant. Witnesses claim it was operated by well-known local captain, Matt Santiago. He told us his passengers are doing fine, but witnesses were terrified.

Two vacationers in town from the Poconos were sitting on the beach and couldn’t believe what they saw. They were feet from dying.

“I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff, but this takes the cake,” said Tobias Sabatine. “The way that everything happened, it looked like someone is dead. There was a little kid running around the beach, I’m shocked no one was killed.”

Two people on the boat suffered minor injuries, but no one else was hurt.

8 On Your Side wanted to know – how fast was the driver going? How did he get disoriented, since investigators say alcohol was not a factor?

Officer Baryl Martin from Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said, “Anytime you have an accident on the water, there is some fault in it, we’re trying to determine what speed he was going.”

The building was turned over to Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.

The driver could face a fine and jail time. The boat is still on scene as the investigation continues.

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