BREAKING: Vessel capsizes off coast of Cabrillo National Monument, leaves two dead
POINT LOMA (KUSI) – Border Patrol officials said a boat that overturned in Point Loma today, killing three people, was suspected of being part of a smuggling operation.
Three people died and 27 people were pulled from the water and hospitalized after the boat capsized, officials said.
The accident happened at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday in ocean waters off the Cabrillo National Monument. Border Patrol officials said the boat crashed into the shoreline surrounding the monument and overturned.
The boat was possibly being used to transport undocumented people into the United States, according to Jeffery Stephenson of the Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Office.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel, lifeguards, U.S. Coast Guard boats and aircraft and Customs and Border Protection air support were still in the area Sunday afternoon searching for other possible victims.
The 27 people who were rescued were taken to a variety of local hospitals, including Sharp Memorial, Palomar Medical Center West, Alvarado, UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, Grossmont Hospital, Kaiser Clairemont Mesa, Kaiser Zion and Paradise Valley Hospital, the SDFRD said.
SDFRD firefighters and lifeguards, along with federal firefighters, U.S. Coast Guard and other local agencies worked together on the accident.
About 96 personnel were assigned to the rescue, including medics, fire engine crews and a chaplain.