Border Patrol agents sent out a warning about a 'dramatic increase' in people-smuggling boats off the San Diego coast just two days before four drowned and 25 were thrust into the water when their overcrowded vessel crashed into a reef and capsized on Sunday.
The boat on Sunday had been carrying at least 29 people when it capsized not far from the shore of Point Loma, near San Diego, which is just 20 miles north of the Mexican border. Four of those on board were killed when the boat fell to pieces and others were hospitalized.
The boat's captain is in Customs Border Patrol custody and is expected to face human smuggling charges after being interviewed. It's unclear where the others who were on board are now or when they will be handed to CBP. It is also unclear where they came from.
On Friday, a CBP memo went out warning residents and law enforcement agencies in the area of the surge in migrants coming to the area by boat, and how dangerous it was.
It falls in line with the wider surge of migrants rushing to the US from Mexico and other southern and central American countries in response to President Joe Biden's laxed stance on immigration. The issue has caused a crisis at the border, with more migrant men, women and children rushing to try to get in.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of maritime smuggling attempts recently. All of these illegal crossings at sea are inherently dangerous, and we have seen too many turn from risky to tragic as smugglers sacrifice the safety of those on board for the sake of profits,' said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke, U.S. Border Patrol said in the memo.
In 2020, 309 boats were intercepted near Point Loma in San Diego; this year, 157 have already been stopped.
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Migrants are shown clambering to on the edges of an overcrowded smuggling boat that capsized off the coast of San Diego on Sunday morning just a few hundred feet from the shore
The migrants on board clung to the side of the boat as it was battered back and forth by the waves before toppling to one side. A coast guard boat scrambled to save them but four drowned
Videos show the boat being battered by the waves while some of those on board rush to the shore
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The boat crashed into a reef near the shore which caused it to fall apart. Some of those on board swam to safety
The boat on Sunday had been carrying at least 29 people when it capsized not far from the shore of Point Loma, near San Diego, which is just 20 miles north of the Mexican border. Four of those on board were killed when the boat fell to pieces and others were hospitalized
The memo said there would be an increase in agents and coast guard over the weekend. It's unclear how many were on duty on Sunday when the boat crashed.
It is also unclear if CBP knew about that specific vessel, or if they were anticipating more over the weekend because of the wider surge.
'While the incident initially appears consistent with maritime smuggling events, U.S. Border Patrol agents have not determined citizenship, legal status in the U.S., or other identifying information at this time.
'As we have more information about the individuals from the boat, we will be providing an update,' a spokesman told DailyMail.com on Monday morning.
On Thursday April 29, they intercepted another boat with 21 people on board not far from where Sunday's crash happened. They were found on a tiny panga fishing boat that had no lights.
No one died from that boat but two people smugglers on board were charged. The migrants were taken into CBP custody to be processed.
Since Biden took office, many migrants have jumped at what they consider to be a new opportunity to enter the US after years of tough immigration crackdowns during Trump's presidency.
Many of those who were pulled from the water required CPR. At least one was hospitalized in a critical condition
A survivor from the boat is shown being taken to the hospital on Sunday. 25 survived, including the boat's captain who is now in CBP custody
Another survivor from the crash is shown being airlifted in a crate. The coast guard said it was one of the worst tragedies they had seen in nearly 30 years
Debris is shown from the aftermath of the