The wooden boat capsized and collapsed during a possible human trafficking off the coast of San Diego
San Diego- Authorities said that on Wednesday, a wooden boat capsized and disintegrated during a possible human smuggling operation off the coast of San Diego, resulting in three deaths and 27 other hospitalizations.
According to the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department, local lifeguards, the Coast Guard and other agencies responded to a report of a capsized ship near the Point Loma Peninsula at about 10:30 in the morning.
Lieutenant Colonel Rick Romero, a San Diego lifeguard, said that the crew pulled seven people out of the water, including three who were drowned. One person was rescued from the cliff, and 22 others climbed ashore alone.
Romero said: “Once we arrived at the site, the ship was almost scrapped.” “The conditions are very difficult: 5 to 6 feet (more than 5 feet) waves, cold wind.”
Romero said that a total of 27 people were taken to the hospital, and their bodies suffered “various levels of injuries”, including hypothermia. He said that most of them can walk to the ambulance without assistance.
According to authorities, the gang was squeezed into a 40-foot-long ship with cabins, which was longer than the typical wooden ships used by smugglers to smuggle people from Mexico to the United States.
“From our perspective, everything shows that this is a smuggling ship. Border Patrol agent Jeff Stephenson said that we have not yet confirmed his nationality.
The agents went to the hospital for interviews with survivors, including the ship’s captain Stephenson who was referred to as the “suspected smuggler”. Traffickers usually face federal charges.
Jose Isis, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire and Rescue Bureau, said that when he arrived at the scene, near the Cabrillo National Monument, “large fragments” of wood and other objects were floating in the chaotic sea. .
“The area of Point Loma is very rocky. The spokesperson commented that the waves may hit the ship until it breaks.
Authorities said there were life jackets on board, but they did not know how many there were or whether passengers were wearing them.
Among the rescuers was an unidentified navy member who was in the area with his family and jumped into the water to help some victims. Romero described this work as “very helpful.”
Authorities said everyone on the ship had been found, but the rescue team continued to search the area for several hours to find possible survivors.
Border authorities on Thursday intercepted a motorboat 11 miles away from Point Loma driving without navigation lights. There were 21 people on board. The authorities detained 15 men and 6 women. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statement beginning in English stated that these agents determined that they were Mexican citizens who had entered the United States without permission. According to reports, there are two people on board, allegedly smugglers, who will face federal charges.
The Border Patrol announced on Friday that the authorities will step up operations to stop human trafficking at sea off the coast of San Diego this weekend.
The agency said in a statement that as the weather in San Diego gets warmer, there is a misunderstanding that doing so will make illegal entry into the country safer and easier.