America’s southern border has been the scene of tragedy in recent years, with Fox News reporting that 856 people died while attempting to illegally enter the country in fiscal year 2022.
The danger isn’t confined to land however, as at least eight migrants are thought to have drowned recently off the coast of San Diego.
Fog hampered rescue efforts
According to Fox News, those deaths occurred after a pair of boats crashed near Black’s Beach this weekend, resulting in them capsizing.
While rescue efforts were undertaken by San Diego Lifeguards along with personnel from the Coast Guard, the San Diego Fire Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, thick fog is said to have been an obstacle.
Daniel Eddy serves as San Diego Fire-Rescue’s deputy chief of operations, and he was quoted as telling OnScene TV, “We couldn’t get any helicopters up.”
“We had boats in the water, but at first light, once all the conditions clear, we will have Coast Guard out here and San Diego Fire-Rescue and lifeguards doing a joint search through the water for any possible victims that are left,” Eddy added.
Survivor called 911 for help
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard announced in a tweet at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday that it would be suspending all further rescue efforts.
Pending further developments, at 3:30 p.m., Coast Guard Sector San Diego suspend the search for missing migrants from an overturned panga near Black’s Beach.
— USCG Southern California (@USCGSoCal) March 12, 2023
Fox News noted that the tragedy initially came to light at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday evening when a woman called 911 and reported that she had traveled from Mexico on one of the boats.
The as yet unidentified woman also said that others who were traveling on the boats had also managed to make it to shore.
Area described as being “very hazardous”
Search Ends For Capsized Migrant Smuggling Vessels Off San Diego Coast After Eight Found Dead
“This is one of the worst maritime tragedies that I can think of in California, certainly here in the city of San Diego”https://t.co/xWwzcGuDjf @dailycaller
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) March 13, 2023
San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland told reporters at a press conference on Sunday that two boats had been located in relatively shallow water.
“That area is very hazardous, even in the daytime,” Fox News quoted Gartland as saying. “It has a series of sandbars and in-shore rip currents, so you can think that you can land in some sand or get to waist-high, knee-high water and think that you’re able to be safe to exit the water, but there’s long, in-shore holes.”
“If you step into those holes, those rip currents will pull you along the shore and back out to sea,” the public official went on to add.