Eight people were hospitalized early Thursday after a suspected panga capsized near the shore of Moonlight Beach, according to U.S. Border Patrol.
The vessel was spotted making its way toward land at about 5 a.m. when it overturned near Encinitas. Once border agents arrived at the scene, they found 18 lifejackets nearby. Eight people involved with the suspected panga were later found by border agents, authorities said.
Those who were suspected of being involved with the boat were treated for hypothermic symptoms and then taken to a nearby Border Patrol station to be processed accordingly. Capt. David Brown of the Encinitas Lifeguards said the water was 68 degrees at the time.
"When you're on a vessel for long hours in the night, and the wind chill and all that, it definitely is a factor," Brown said. "The water was probably less of a factor than just being out in the cold air."
Border Patrol did not say if the people associated with the vessel were detained.
Since Oct. 1, 2020, 1,327 migrants have been encountered illegally entering the United States by sea off the California Coast, Border Patrol said. This number exceeds the total maritime apprehensions (1,273) for the prior fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2020.
The investigation is ongoing.