A group of fishermen outside Mission Bay turned in a suspicious group of boaters Monday morning. The boaters entered the country illegally, Border Patrol agents said.
Their boat also may have been used to smuggle, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.
At about 6:30 a.m., seven boaters in a disabled 21-foot Mexican-registered boat approached the fishermen, offering them money to tow their boat into the bay. The mariners said the passengers of the boat looked “disoriented.”
The fishermen were suspicious of the boat, and called the Coast Guard to report the incident. After towing the boat to the bay and taking the Mexican nationals into custody, the U.S. Border Patrol determined that the individuals entered the country illegally.
“This is a good example of local mariners reporting something that seemed out of place that resulted in the disruption of a smuggling attempt,” said Lt. Bill Burwell, Coast Guard Sector San Diego public affairs officer in the statement.