An attempt to smuggle nearly two dozens illegal immigrants into the U.S. by sea ended with a capsized boat and a search for survivors that included more than 100 rescue personnel from state, local and federal agencies.
The 30-foot fishing boat was carrying about two dozen people when it got caught in heavy surf off Torrey Pines State Beach in La Jolla, Calif.
The boat capsized throwing people into the ocean about 50 yards off the coast at around 4:20 a.m. on Saturday, according to firefighters.
“Oftentimes when used, these boats are overloaded and in the ocean with a bog swell day it's dangerous,"said Jackie Dizdul.
One man, believed to be 35 years old, was found floating in the water and died on the way to the hospital. One minor was given CPR at the scene. Three other minors and two adults were taken to Scripps Hospital in La Jolla. Two of the minors were treated for trauma. Ten others were arrested.
The U.S. Coast Guard called off their search for possible survivors late Saturday night and planned to regroup Sunday.
Searchers believe some survivors may have taken off through the Torrey Pines Natural Reserve. Others may have tried to swim off in the surf.
“In a couple of hours, a lot of people would expire n these conditions. The water temperature is between 56 and 58 degrees," Dizdul said.
According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, there has been an increase in coastal border-smuggling.
“This is the third case in the last 3 weeks we've had to respond to a vessel that was in distress,” said Josh Nelson with the U.S. Coast Guard.