Over the weekend, two migrant smuggling vessels capsized off San Diego’s coast, killing multiple occupants in one of the region’s worst maritime migration accidents in years.
Late Saturday, San Diego’s 911 center received a call for assistance from a woman aboard a migrant smuggling boat. She described a distress situation off Black’s Beach, a popular surfing destination just north of La Jolla, involving two pangas. Her own boat was safe at the time of the call, but the other boat had capsized with 15 people aboard.
At about 2330 hours, San Diego Fire-Rescue’s responders found two boats capsized within about 150 yards of each other, and they recovered eight bodies from the beach. No survivors were found nearby, and heavy fog hampered SAR efforts overnight. The U.S. Coast Guard launched a search with a small boat, a cutter and a SAR helicopter on Sunday morning, but suspended its participation that afternoon. More here.