DHS agencies interdict 18 suspected migrants off Dana Point

SAN DIEGO – The coordinated efforts of the San Diego Maritime Unified Command (MUC) resulted in the apprehension of 18 suspected illegal migrants early Tuesday morning off the coast of Dana Point, Calif.

The Coast Guard Cutter Haddock detected an overloaded panga full of suspected undocumented aliens about six miles west of Dana Point and, along with a vessel from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), interdicted the vessel.

A boarding team from the Haddock approached the panga to assess the situation of everyone on board, and once alongside provided life jackets to everyone on board. All 15 men and three women were then transferred to the CBP boat and transported to Dana Point where they were taken into custody.

The water temperature at the time of the apprehension was 59 degrees. Although the seas and winds were relatively calm, being on the water at night in an overloaded boat without life jackets or other means of protection is extremely dangerous. The Coast Guard would like to remind all mariners the importance of having a life jacket for everyone aboard their boat in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection are member agencies of the Maritime Unified Command. The MUC is comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP’s Office of Air & Marine and U.S. Border Patrol, ICE and state and local law enforcement partners operating in the San Diego and Orange County maritime domain. The MUC utilizes the fusion of intelligence, planning and operations to target the threat of transnational crime along the coastal border.

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