12 people found on suspected smuggling boat off coast of Point Loma

Lifeguards responded to a distress call that the boat was taking on water


SEP. 9, 2019 9:11 AM

A dozen people aboard a suspected smuggling boat that took on water off the coast of Point Loma were turned over to Border Patrol agents early Monday morning.

Lifeguards responded to a distress call around 3 a.m. near the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University by someone on a boat who reported it was taking on water, San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero said.

Lifeguards first sent a boat that has the ability to pump out water but as the dispatcher got more information a surf boat was sent to assist, Romero said.

The boat was taking on water because it had gone past the surf line, he said. “The surf boat came on and was able to hook them up and tow them outside the surf line,” he said.

No one was injured and no one was found on the beach. Lifeguards notified the Coast Guard and the Border Patrol, and Border Patrol agents took control of the boat and the people on board, he said.

No additional details were immediately available.