San Diego captain of suspected smuggling vessel in custody after boat overturned, killing 4. Here's what we know
May 3, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 02: Debris is littered along the shoreline off Cabrillo Monument on May 2, 2021 in San Diego, California. Two people died and Twenty were rescued after a vessel overturned on Sunday afternoon off Point Loma area of San Diego(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
The person believed to have been operating a suspected smuggling vessel that overturned off the coast of San Diego Sunday, killing four people and sending more than 20 to the hospital, is in custody.
"Every indication from our perspective is that this was a smuggling vessel to smuggle migrants into the United States illegally," US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Supervisory Agent Jeff Stephenson said during a news conference Sunday.
Brandon Tucker, CBP deputy director of air operations for the San Diego Air and Marine Branch, said the captain of the suspected smuggling boat is "a bit out of it, but he is speaking to agents on scene. "
In a news release issued on Saturday, CBP said it was "ramping up operations to disrupt maritime smuggling off the coast of San Diego this weekend. "
A small wooden "panga" type vessel was interdicted by CBP off the coast of Point Loma on Thursday with 21 people on board, officials said in the news release.