6 arrested after suspected smuggling boat beaches at Black’s Beach; one man rescued from cliffs

Border Patrol agents arrested six people after a panga came ashore at Black’s Beach; one man took a fall and had to be extricated by a helicopter and airlifted to a hospital


NOV. 6, 2019 8:25 AM

SAN DIEGO — Six people were arrested early Wednesday after a suspected smuggling boat was beached on Black’s Beach. Several hours later, lifeguards and firefighters used a helicopter to rescue a man who fell while trying to escape up the cliffs, officials said.

The panga was spotted off the coast of San Diego around 3:40 a.m. and a U.S. Coast Guard boat began pursuing it as it headed toward Black’s Beach, where it ended up up on the sand, officials said.

Border Patrol agents responded to Torrey Pines and arrested six people. They launched a search to look for four others who were believed to have fled the boat.

One man was found injured and stuck on the cliffs near the Torrey Pines Golf Course after taking a “tumbling fall,"fire officials said. Around 7:15 a.m., a helicopter used a hoist to extricate the injured man from the cliffs and he was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

The man suffered cuts and bruises; it was unknown if he had any broken bones or other injuries.

“People scurried off the boat and up the cliff to get away, but one person took a fall and was injured,” San Diego Lifeguard Service Lt. Rick Romerohe said.

The six men who were arrested were transported to a Border Patrol station for processing and determine to be Mexican nationals inside the U.S. without authorization. Two of the men were identified as vessel operators and will be charged with alien smuggling, officials said.

Twelve life vests were found on the boat.