Coast Guard Responds to Overloaded Migrant Vessel

SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Coast Guard was contacted to provide assistance for a vessel 33 miles north west of La Jolla, Calif., suspected of smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S., this morning.

Sector San Diego diverted the Cutter Haddock, an 87-foot patrol boat, and an MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter to the panga’s location. Once on scene with the 25-foot vessel, the Haddock determined it was overloaded and posed a risk to the 21 people onboard and safely transferred the people from the panga to the cutter.

These situations are incredibly dangerous and put lives at risk. Attempts to smuggle illegal immigrants are often made on vessels that are overloaded and carry minimal food and water, exposing the occupants to hazardous sea conditions, and the risk of hypothermia. Fortunately today it seemed the majority of the migrants were wearing their life jacket.

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