Illegal Alien Tragedy Takes Eight Lives

( – Eight people perished when two boats trafficking illegal immigrants into the US capsized off the coast of San Diego in “one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies” the California city has seen.

San Diego Fire-Rescue said lifeguards responded to a 911 emergency call from one of the boats.

Fire-Rescue and Coast Guard vessels searched for survivors through Sunday evening even though their efforts were hurdled by thick fog, Newsmax reported.

San Diego Fire-Rescue’s deputy chief of operations, Daniel Eddy, said debris from the boats was found on Black’s Beach, also known as Torrey Pines City Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Eddie Berrios said eight people had died, and the rescue teams searched for at least seven more.

The rescue services found the boat debris around 11:30 pm local time on Saturday after a woman called 911 from one of the bouts earlier.

According to Chief James Gartland, lifeguard chief for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, there were 15 people in a tiny fishing vessel and eight in a second boat.

A release by the department said the rescuers found a stretch of Black’s Beach “strewn with bodies.”

“After about an hour of searching and recovering bodies, we were in recovery mode for about five hours. Nobody encountered any survivors… People may have left the beach; we’re not sure,” Gartland said.

Seven bodies were discovered on the beach, while Customs and Border Protection officers found the eighth.

The fire department said all of them were adults, but their nationalities had not been established. None of them was found wearing a life jacket. The victims’ remains were transported to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

Gartland noted it was unclear what led the fishing vessels called pangas to capsize as they were trafficking illegal immigrants.

However, he pointed out that the boats overturned in a “very hazardous area” with rip currents and coastal holes.

“This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies that I can think of in California, certainly here in the city of San Diego,” Gartland said.

Capt. James Spitler, sector commander for the US Coast Guard in San Diego, told CNN human trafficking along the Southern California coast had spiked since 2017.

“This is not necessarily people trying to find a better life,” he said, referring to boats transporting migrants.

“This is part of a transnational criminal organization effort to smuggle people into the United States. These people are often labor-trafficked and sex-trafficked when they arrive.”