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The boat capsizes from San Diego’s Point Loma: 2 dead, 23 wounded



A suspected smuggler boat capsized and apparently broke away from Point Loma Sunday morning, leaving at least three people dead and more than two dozen hospitalized, a firefighter said.

Emergency personnel received the call shortly before 10.30am after state park workers found people in distress in the water near the Cabrillo National Monument, officials said.

Lifeguards helped pull 25 victims from the water, five of them in “CPR status,” meaning they had trouble breathing, said Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Three people died and 27 others were transported to local hospitals with what Ysea described as “varying degrees of injuries.”

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Video from OnScene TV showed doctors performing CPR on two men on a dock while a Coast Guard helicopter crew lowered a man in a basket down into a field. Doctors took some people away on gurneys while others went away along with medications.

There were reports that the group had run into a low-slung panga, a type of boat often used by smugglers to bring people into the United States illegally from Mexico. Pangas are typically powered by outboard engines.

Human traffickers and drug smugglers increasingly turned to the Pacific as an alternative route into the United States after the Trump administration tightened land border infrastructure in recent years.

Ysea said when he arrived at the site near the national monument, a large “dirt field” could be seen in the water.

“It’s very rocky over there, and while the waves weren’t too high, they looked pretty strong,” he said strong enough to slam a boat into the rocks.

Several Coast Guard ships were dispatched to the area looking for victims, said border surveillance supervisor Jeffery Stephenson.

San Diego fire officials said they assigned 93 people to work on the incident, including medications, engine crews and a priest.




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