An abandoned panga boat, along with several life jackets, was discovered on Mission Beach Friday morning, the third one discovered along the San Diego coast in less than one week.
The empty boat was spotted sometime before 5:30 a.m. on the shore off El Carmel Place. San Diego Lifeguards searched the area and found at least a dozen life jackets on the sand and in the boat. Some containers of fuel and food were also found in the boat. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovered over the water to look for any of the boat occupants, but no one was found.
1 Dead, 10 Rescued After Panga Boat Crashes off La Jolla
One person died and others were rescued from the waters off La Jolla after a panga boat crashed along the La Jolla coast Thursday morning. Customs and Border Protection officials said a Border Patrol agent spotted a panga boat off the coast of Point Loma at around 5:10 a.m. traveling north with several passengers. About 10 minutes later, San Diego Lifeguards and Border Patrol agents were called to the waters near the La Jolla Children’s Pool due to reports of people in the water in need of help.
According to SDFD officials, the boat eventually crashed in an area known as Wipeout Beach, near the 700 block of Coast Boulevard. It was at that location in which one person was found in the water, and despite life-saving measures, the individual was pronounced dead at the scene. San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero told the San Diego Union Tribune that at least eight people were rescued off the boat. One resident who lives nearby told ABC 10News he woke up to people screaming and saw several people in the water yelling for help.
A Border Patrol spokesman confirmed that there were 15 people taken into custody, all determined to be undocumented. Lifeguards said none needed to be hospitalized and were taken to a Border Patrol facility for processing.
On Monday, a panga boat carrying 23 people came close to hitting the rocks below Sunset Cliffs. The boat was seized and Customs and Border Protection says all 23 were illegally in the country and were being processed. On May 2, a suspected smuggling boat carrying 30 people capsized off Point Loma, killing three people and leading to the arrest of the boat’s captain.
(Photo reporting partner 10News)