Federal authorities warned about a rise in human smuggling attempts by sea just two days before a boat believed to be carrying dozens of migrants capsized off the coast of San Diego, killing four.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of maritime smuggling attempts recently,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke from Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego sector warned in a Friday news release announcing increased enforcement along the coast.
“All of these illegal crossings at sea are inherently dangerous, and we have seen too many turn from risky to tragic as smugglers sacrifice the safety of those on board for the sake of profits.”
Just two days later, a 40-foot trawler-style vessel, believed to be carrying migrants attempting to enter the country illegally, broke apart after crashing into rocks off Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma, a rugged peninsula about 30 miles north of Mexico, officials said.
Wreckage and debris washes ashore at Cabrillo National Monument