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Off San Diego Coast, 2 Suspected Smuggling Boats Crash, Killing 8



Off San Diego Coast, 2 Suspected Smuggling Boats Crash, Killing 8

(CTN News) – A boat crash off the San Diego coastline late Saturday night has resulted in the deaths of eight people, and authorities are searching for seven additional victims, officials from the San Diego Fire and Rescue department said on Sunday.

According to authorities, the vessels were suspected of being involved in smuggling activities.

According to officials, the panga boats capsized around 11:30 p.m., and a passenger on another boat that reached Black’s Beach called 911 to report that victims from the other boat were in the water.

It was reported by the woman who made the call that there were 15 people on the boat that overturned, but this was just an estimate, according to Richard Brahm, a Petty Officer in the Coast Guard.

In addition to the San Diego Fire Department and Police Department, Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as state and local lifeguards responded to the incident.

Authorities said the capsized boat was located about 800 yards north of Black Gold Road in La Jolla based on GPS information from the caller’s phone.

Based on information provided by San Diego Fire and Rescue, the first group of lifeguards had to wade through the waters on foot due to high tide, which prevented access to the beach.

Several hundred yards in, they discovered lifeless bodies on a patch of dry sand, two overturned panga boats, and several life jackets and fuel barrels.

The seven bodies that were initially found in the water were taken to dry sand by lifeguards, and the eighth body was found by officers with Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations.

Petty Officer Eddie Berrios of the San Diego Guard confirmed that eight people have died and that seven more are being searched for.

Although he did not know what type of boat they were, he said pangas – small open boats with outboard engines commonly used for smuggling operations – often come ashore there.

In addition, Brahm did not know whether anyone on the second boat was injured or whether Border Patrol had apprehended them.

There was no indication that any arrests had been made, and the nationalities of the passengers were not known. President Biden’s administration has seen an increase in illegal border crossings, with many migrants voluntarily surrendering themselves to Border Patrol agents and being released to appear in immigration court in the United States.


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