At least four people are dead and over two dozen more have been injured after a suspected migrant smuggling operation went wrong after a 40-foot cabin cruiser boat capsized near San Diego, California.
The U.S. Coast Guard said that the incident occurred when the boat broke into pieces off Cabrillo National Monument at San Diego’s Point Loma, according to Reuters
“The ocean is inherently unsafe,” U.S. Border Patrol supervisory agent Jeff Stephenson said at a Sunday news conference, according to The Washington Post.
“The reality is crossing the border illegally is unsafe no matter the method, especially at sea. …The smugglers, they don’t care about the people they’re exploiting. All they care about is profit,” he said. “To them, these people are just commodities. …Obviously, this [vessel] was severely overcrowded.”
The first call reporting the incident happened before 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, after which multiple groups responded including the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local agencies.
The 40-foot long boat had been