21 Exhausted Illegal Immigrants Plucked from Boat

The Coast Guard says it has stopped a small boat with nearly two dozen illegal immigrants off the Southern California coast.

Twenty-one people were aboard the 25-foot boat yesterday when the Coast Guard located it 33 miles northwest of La Jolla. The Coast Guard determined the passengers were at risk because the boat was too crowded and transferred them to an 87-foot patrol boat. Agency spokesman Henry Dunphy says the passengers looked exhausted and were happy to get the help.

The Coast Guard says most of the immigrants were wearing life jackets but it was concerned the sea conditions could have been dangerous for the boat.

Dunphy says the passengers will be turned over to immigration officials to determine where and if they should be deported.

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