17 Rescued from Disabled Panga Off Pacific Beach

Close to 20 undocumented immigrants were discovered in a boat in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego Tuesday. 

A red flare was spotted at 4:45 a.m. by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter while on patrol west of Point Loma. 

Less than an hour later, a man called 911 from a disabled panga reporting that he had fired the red flare. 

A Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations helicopter located a boat carrying 17 people approximately 8 miles west of Pacific Beach. 

The passengers, described by officials as undocumented immigrants, were rescued by a Coast Guard vessel at 8:15 a.m. 

The ship brought the passengers to Shelter Island where they were taken into custody by federal officials. 

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