A man was critically hurt early Sunday morning when a boat he was in hit a channel marker off John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, according to state wildlife officers and a Monroe County Sheriff's Office report.
The crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. on South Sound Creek when a 17-foot Century boat with three people aboard struck the marker, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Bobby Dube.
The three people retrieved the injured man -- whose name was not immediately released -- and drove to Key Largo Kampground and Marina, 101551 Overseas Highway, where they were met by paramedics.
The man was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with a reported head injury, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office report.
The Coast Guard did not respond to the incident, said spokesman Lt. Peter Bermont.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard did order a 35-foot recreational boat back to shore from Vaca Cut in Marathon about 2 p.m. Saturday after a safety stop, Bermont said.
The boat was found to be operating as a commercial dive vessel without the required licenses. It was forced back to port along with the paying customers aboard, Bermont said.
The owner and operator could face criminal charges and the case remains under investigation. The Coast Guard does not release the names of those under investigation unless and until charges are filed.