Eight people died when a smuggling boat capsized off the coast of San Diego
At least EIGHT dead and seven missing after two boats carrying illegal migrants capsized off the coast of San Diego as storms hit the California coast
At least eight people are dead and seven are missing after two boats carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Blacks Beach in California late Saturday night. A woman in a pango boat with 15 people who made it to shore called 911 to report that another boat had capsized in the waves and there were people in the water, according to San Diego Fire and Rescue. When crews arrived, they found two overturned pango boats and bodies floating in the water 400 yards away. Life jackets and barrels of fuel were also found.
Seven bodies were pulled ashore by lifeguards at the scene, and the Border Patrol recovered an eighth body, SDFD spokeswoman Monica Munoz told Dailymail.com. The bodies were turned over to the San Diego County Medical Examiner. Crews continued recovery efforts Sunday as storms continue to batter the California coast. Officers from SDFD, San Diego Police, Border Patrol, US Coast Guard, State Rescue, UCSD Police and SDFD Lifeguards responded to the scene after the woman called 911. “The female caller stated there were 15 people on the boat that overturned. , but it was just an estimate,” said US Coast Guard Chief Richard Bram.
A rescue dispatcher used the GPS coordinates of the woman who called 911 to locate the crash site, according to SDFD. The location was about 800 yards north of the base of the Black Gold Road. Crews couldn’t reach the beach because of high tide, so they had to wade through waist-high water to get to the bodies and boats. A pango boat is a style of fishing boat commonly used in the Caribbean and Central America.
Two helicopters were dispatched last night to search for victims, but SDFD said conditions were too foggy. The Coast Guard and San Diego Fire-Rescue pulled eight bodies from the water, but heavy fog hampered the search for more victims. A Coast Guard cutter was combing the area early Sunday, and officials hoped to get helicopters in the air when the weather improved, Bram said. Daniel Eddy, deputy chief of operations for San Diego Fire and Rescue, said Black Beach has a long field of debris.
Blacks Beach is jointly owned by the city of San Diego and the state. The stretch of sand is also known as Torrey Pines City Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach. Coast Guard Petty Officer Eddie Berrias confirmed the death of eight people, and teams are searching for at least seven more. He didn’t know what kind of boats they were, but said pangas – small open boats with outboard motors used in smuggling operations – often come ashore.
Bram did not know if anyone on the other boat was injured or if they were apprehended by the Border Patrol. It is not yet clear if any arrests have been made and the nationalities of the passengers are unknown. Under President Joe Biden, illegal crossings have skyrocketed, with many migrants surrendering to Border Patrol agents and being released into the United States to face their cases in immigration court.
The pandemic rule, which is set to expire on May 11, bars migrants from seeking asylum on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19, but the application fell disproportionately on Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans because those were the only nationalities Mexico agreed to take.
As a result, residents of those four countries are more likely to try to avoid arrest, knowing they are likely to be deported under public health regulations known as Title 42 powers. Mexico recently began taking back Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans under Sec. 42.
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