Migrant panga boat prompts multi-agency response near Sunset Cliffs

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Authorities discovered a panga boat carrying nearly two dozen people early Monday morning in waters off the coast of Point Loma, authorities said.

Shortly before 2:50 a.m., a Border Patrol agent operating a vehicle-based video surveillance system spotted a boat west of Point Loma, according to Border Patrol Agent Angel Moreno.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter deployed a small boat, which made contact with the vessel west of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Moreno said. The panga boat operator ignored commands to stop and eventually became stuck in the surf line near the shore.

The Coast Guard boat towed the panga boat from the surf line and removed 23 people aboard, the agent said. Twenty of the boat’s occupants were men and three were women.

The boat’s occupants were taken to San Diego Lifeguard Headquarters, where Border Patrol agents questioned them and determined they were all “illegally present in the U.S.,” Moreno said. All 23 were taken into Border Patrol custody for processing and CBP Air and Marine Operations seized the panga boat.

No injuries were reported.

Categories: Local San Diego News