One of the deadliest marine human smuggling operations ever off American shores occurred Sunday when two migrant smuggling boats capsized in shallow but dangerous surf amid dense fog, according to authorities.
On Saturday night, a woman on one of the panga-style boats dialed 911 in Spanish to report that the other boat had capsized at Black’s Beach due to swells. She claimed that there were eight persons on her ship and fifteen on the overturned one.
The bodies of eight individuals were recovered from the water by Coast Guard and San Diego Fire-Rescue workers, but the fog made it difficult to find more fatalities.
On Sunday, search efforts resumed, but no new bodies were discovered. By 3:30 p.m., the Coast Guard tweeted that the search had been called off.
The woman who dialed 911 may have been among the survivors who reached land. Her whereabouts were unknown to the authorities.
James Gartland, the chief lifeguard for San Diego, claimed that when rescuers came, they discovered the two boats capsized in shallow water. Swells were tiny, measuring around 3 feet (1 meter), but the skies were overcast and dark.
The tweet below also shows the news:
"This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies that I can think of in California, certainly here in the city of San Diego," the city's chief lifeguard said.https://t.co/zEaoDeXlgK
— Matt Brown (@mrbrownsir) March 12, 2023
At a press conference, Gartland declared that the region is hazardous—even during the day. You could believe you can land in sand or get to waist- or knee-high water and be safe to exit the ocean, but there are long, in-shore holes. It has a series of sandbars and in-shore rip currents. If you enter those crevices, the rip currents will drag you back out to sea and down the shore.
Black’s Beach is about 15 miles (24 km) north of downtown San Diego in a quiet neighborhood next to the well-known La Jolla Beaches. Many surfers visit due to its reputation for having some of the most significant breaks in Southern California.
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When A Crowded Boat Transporting Migrants Overturned
Every year, hundreds of maritime smuggling activities occur off the coast of California and occasionally end in tragedy. Three individuals were killed, and more than two dozen others were hurt when a crowded boat transporting migrants overturned and broke apart in strong surf along the rugged San Diego coast in May 2021.
A dangerous alternative for migrants to bypass strongly guarded land borders, smuggling off the California coast has fluctuated throughout time. Pangas sail hundreds of miles to the north and arrive from Mexico in the dead of night. Throughout the day, recreational boats attempt to blend in unnoticed with fishing and pleasure craft.
Several remote, private beaches with guarded access and stunning ocean views can be found south of the U.S. border. Some of these beaches are only partially complete due to insufficient funding during construction. Smugglers choose Popotla because of its expansive, sandy beach and calm waves. Narrow alleyways are dotted with vendors selling a variety of local seafood.
The San Diego embassy reported that at least some of Saturday’s casualties were Mexican, but it was unclear exactly how many. Under President Joseph Biden, there has been an increase in illegal crossings, with many migrants becoming Border Patrol authorities and being allowed to remain in the US to fight their cases in immigration court.
Because Mexico was the only country that consented to take back those nations, enforcement of the pandemic rule, set to expire on May 11, has disproportionately affected Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and El Salvadorans.
As a result, since they are likely to be deported by the public health rule, sometimes known as Title 42 authority, citizens of those four nations have been more likely to try to avoid capture. Recently, Mexico started returning Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Cubans by Title 42.
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