Sunday, June 23, 2024

8 Illegal Immigrants Drowned Trying to Sneak into San Diego

'This is part of a trans-national criminal organization effort to smuggle people into the United States...'

(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) At least 8 illegal immigrants drowned attempting to smuggle themselves into San Diego on Saturday.

Two flotation devices capsized late Saturday night off the coast of San Diego, according to the Times of San Diego.

San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland mourned the event at a press conference on Sunday.

“We lost eight souls,” he said.

Gartland also explained that no survivors have been found in the water.

A fog crippled the search and rescue efforts, but the Coast Guard and San Diego’s Fire and Rescue crews helped search the water on Sunday.

Adam Stanton, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, reported that officers in the Coast Guard received a call from San Diego’s Police Department at 11:35 p.m. Saturday.

Gartland reported that an unidentified Spanish speaking person called dispatch and told them that two vessels carrying 15 people had overturned off the coast.

“[Lifeguards] did the best we could to recover people from the water, trying to find survivors,” he said.

Search and rescue efforts lasted about an hour, according to Gartland.

“We were in recovery mode for five hours after that,” he said.

Gartland reported that some of the illegals “may have left the beach, we’re not sure.”

He explained that rip currents could pull people, or bodies, back out to sea. The night of the incident saw 3 foot swells at the spot of the incident, which is also along hazardous cliffs.

“This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies that I can think of in California, certainly here in the city of San Diego,” Gartland said.

Capt. James Spitler, sector commander for the U.S. Coast Guard San Diego, said these deaths were the result of criminal activity.

“This is not necessarily people trying to find a better life,” he said. “This is part of a trans-national criminal organization effort to smuggle people into the United States.”

“These people are often labor-trafficked and sex-trafficked when they arrive.”

First responders found two capsized boats, life jackets, and fuel barrels at the scene according to ABC 10 San Diego.

The coastal region of California has seen a 771% increase in human trafficking, according to The Blaze.

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