An overcrowded smuggling boat capsized Sunday off the California coast after crashing into the shore, causing the death of at least four people and what others 27 were hospitalized with various injuries e hypothermiareported authorities of United States.
The accident occurred on Sunday morning in front of San Diegoand all who were on board the boat from 12 meters jumped to the frozen water while the ship slowly disintegrated.
The life jacketthe Coast Guard and other agencies responded around 10:30 a.m. Sunday after reports of a capsized boat in the waves near the rugged peninsula of Point Loma.
“It was a boat. smuggling“he told reporters Jeffery Stephenson, of the Office of Public Affairs of Customs and Border Protection. Those on board were probably migrants trying to enter the United States illegallyand “the agents of the Border Patrol They’re with a man we think was the operator.”
“Smugglers don’t care about the people they’re exploiting. All they care about is profit. They had a inadequate safety equipment and obviously this boat I was seriously overloadedStephenson said.
This is how the shipwreck happened in San Diego, California
A call to authorities warned of a handful of people who fell into the waterbut when rescuers arrived in boats and jet skis, they realized that “it was going to be a bigger situation with more people” said Lt. Rick Romero of San Diego Lifeguard Services.
“There are people in the water, drowningbeing sucked into the current,” he said.
seven people were pulled from the wavesincluded three who drownedRomero said. One person was rescued from a Cliff and 22 others made it to shore on their own, he said.
The 27 survivors They were taken to hospitals with “varying degrees of injuries,” said Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
The rescuers carried out seven water rescues and one on a cliff, said the head of the lifeguards of San DiegoJames Gartland.
Migrants fell into the cold waters of San Diego
The total number of dead it was still unclear. The United States Coast Guard said in a statement Sunday night that four people had died. The local coroner’s offices counted three dead, including a 41-year-old woman, a 35-year-old woman and a man of unknown age.
“Once we got to the scene, the boat had basically broken“Lieutenant Romero said. “Conditions were pretty rough: 5 to 6 foot swell, windy, cold“.
A total of 27 people were transferred to hospitals with “a wide variety of injuries“, including the hypothermia. Most of the victims were able to walk to the ambulances.
People smuggling, possible reason for the shipwreck in California
Authorities said the group was crowded on a 12 meter long vessel, which is larger than typical wooden boats style bank with an open roof that is often used by smugglers to carry people to United States from Mexico.
“All indications from our perspective were that it was a smuggling ship. We have not confirmed the nationality of him,” said Jeff Stephenson, a supervising agent with the United States Border Patrol.
The accident took place at a time when United States experience a large influx of undocumented immigrants on its southern border.
Officials and migrants say the exodus was caused, to some extent, by the increased poverty and violence in Central America, as well as for the promise of presidente Joe Biden of a policy migratory more human.
According to an order related to the pandemic effective from March 2020, the migrants from Mexico and people from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras picked up at the border are expelled immediately to Mexico without the opportunity to apply for asylum.
President Joe Biden has exempted the children unaccompanied by expulsions, but the vast majority of adults are promptly returned without facing any consequences.
They investigate the captain of the ship that capsized
“We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of attempts to maritime smuggling recently,” Chief Agent Aaron Heitke of the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector said in a statement.
The agents of the Border Patrol they went to the hospitals to interview the survivors of rollover, including the captain of the shipwhom Stephenson described as an “alleged smuggler“. The smugglers usually face federal charges and the smugglers are usually deported.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Jose Ysea said when he arrived on the scene near Cabrillo National Monument there was a “large field of debris” from wood chipped and other elements in the rough waters.
There was life jacket on board, but it was not known how many or if any passengers used them, authorities said.
Among the rescuers was a sailor unidentified Army officer who was in the area with his family and jumped into the water to help someone in an effort described by Romero as a “great help.”