Human smuggling boat carrying 18 illegal immigrants CAPSIZES off California's La Jolla beach 'killing 1 & injuring 11'
20th May 2021

A HUMAN smuggling boat packed with 18 illegal immigrants capsized off La Jolla beach in California on Thursday morning, killing one and injuring 11.

Eight people reportedly jumped from a panga boat shortly after 5.30am and started swimming toward the shore.

San Diego Lifeguard Chief Gartland said that there were approximately 15 to 18 people involved in the incident.

At least 11 people were hospitalized and one person has died, officials told Fox5.

"We had a smuggling event this morning, we have coast guard on scene, customs and border control on scene," Gartland said.

"They dropped people off in the water, then the vessel decided to come into the beach and capsized on the beach."

Gartland added that some of the travelers were wearing "flotation devices."

One person is reportedly in critical condition, according to a CBS8 reporter.

The rescue mission took roughly 25 minutes to complete.

This is the second time this month that a boat accident has occurred in San Diego.

A vessel capsized off Point Loma near Cabrillo National Monument on the morning of May 2.

At least four people died, 27 were hospitalized and one person remained in critical condition after the boat overturned in the water off San Diego.

The San Diego Fire Department pulled 27 people from the water with five needing CPR, ABC7 reported.

In a press conference, San Diego Lifeguard Lt Rick Romero confirmed that 30 people in total were on board the boat.

Many were able to walk to shore but seven were sucked into the rip current.

“There were people in the water drowning, getting sucked out the rip current there, and there was people on shore,” Romero said.

“We picked up about seven people in the water, two of them were faced down and drowned… The numbers kept on increasing.”

Jeff Stephenson, Supervisor United States Border Patrol Agent, told NBC that every indication points to the boat being a smuggling vessel used to smuggle migrants into the US illegally.

"The man who we believe was the operator, agents are with him, and is the suspected smuggler, but the investigation is still unfolding,” Stephenson said.

“We were putting more resources out in the water to interdict vessels like this and we announced it in advance to try to deter as much as we could to try and send a message to smugglers."

Stephenson added that the boat was "severely overcrowded."

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