U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a suspected smuggling vessel off the California coast yesterday.
The vessel was sailing near Encinitas in the early morning hours, Pacific Standard Time, when the CBP Agents hailed and ordered it to yield. After failing to yield, warning shots were fired but the suspected smuggling vessel failed to comply. Soon after the two vessels collided.
The smuggler’s vessel capsized, resulting in 20 people going into the water. Agents pulled everyone out of the water and immediately began administering CPR to one woman who was unresponsive. U.S. Coast Guard responded to airlift the woman from the CBP vessel; she was later pronounced dead by medical authorities.
Agents called for local emergency medical personnel and brought the remaining 19 people to the dock, where all received medical care. Of the 19, four were transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. All 20 people are suspected of attempting to enter the country illegally.
CBP is investigating the incident.
Image: US CBP