(PatriotWise.com)- A boat that is suspected of participating in smuggling activities capsized near the coast of San Diego on Sunday, resulting in dozens of injuries and four people being left dead.
The boat is suspected of trying to smuggle humans into the United States. After capsizing, the boat split into pieces, which could be seen from the shores off San Diego.
The U.S. Coast Guard issued a statement on Sunday morning that read:
“Twenty-nine people have reportedly been accounted for, consisting of 24 people alive, four people declared deceased by local emergency medical services personnel and one person who was last reported to be in critical condition.”
The Coast Guard was planning to continue its search for more missing people who may have been on the boat. The search was originally scheduled to take place overnight.
James Gartland, the lifeguard chief for San Diego, said the even was most likely the worst tragedy he’s ever seen in his 26 years at his post.
On Sunday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard, in addition to Border Patrol, local lifeguards and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, all responded to reports that a vessel had overturned near the peninsula of Point Loma. That area is close to the shoreline that surrounds San Diego’s Cabrillo National Monument.
Rick Romero, a lieutenant with the San Diego Lifeguard, said there were a “wide variety” of injuries the people suffered. They ranged from wounds sustained during the crash to hypothermia from being in the cold water.
Authorities have come out to say the assume the boat was for “illegal migration” into America.
Border Patrol supervisory agent Jeff Stephenson said the boat was “severely overcrowded.” He continued:
“Every indication from our perspective is that this was a smuggling vessel.”
The person who is believed to have been driving the boat is in custody, according to officials. He’s a suspected smuggler.
Romero said the 40-foot cabin cruiser boat was battling waves of five to six feet high. After it hit the reef, it “slowly disintegrated into a bunch of pieces. It’s just debris now.”
This type of human smuggling is becoming more commonplace off the coat of southern California. Migrants are searching for new ways to evade Border Patrol and other U.S. agencies as they seek to get people into the country illegally.
Between October 2019 and September 2020, for example, Stephenson said there was an increase of 92% in maritime apprehensions. That accounted for roughly 1,200 more apprehensions of that type compared to the fiscal year before.
Stephenson said he believed that the boat this weekend was trying to blend in with other commercial vessels when it struck the reef.
Authorities have not yet released — or do not yet know — the nationalities and ages of the people who were on board the vessel.
This is just yet another example of how bad the southern border crisis is getting. It’s not getting any better, yet the Biden administration is doing little to address the problem.