SAN DIEGO — One person was killed and eight were injured Thursday in an apparent migrant smuggling attempt off San Diego’s tony La Jolla coast, authorities said.

Lifeguards rescued 10 people in what the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department called “rough water conditions,” including eight who were hospitalized. Some of the migrants wore life vests.

One person who was found underwater was pronounced dead on the beach. The fire department in a statement said it did not know how many people were aboard the boat.

Lifeguards were alerted that people were in the water around 5:30 a.m., minutes before sunrise. The boat was in waters just offshore from Wipeout Beach, off the coast from multimillion-dollar homes, shops and in an area that is popular with surfers, swimmers, walkers and runners.

The fire department said survivors were turned over to US Customs and Border Protection.

Earlier this month, a recreational cabin cruiser overloaded with 32 people capsized off the San Diego coast, killing three people in a smuggling attempt.

Smuggling off the California coast has ebbed and flowed over the years but has long been a risky alternative for migrants to avoid heavily guarded land borders.

Small boats with single- or twin-engines known as “pangas” enter from Mexico in the dead of night, sometimes heading hundreds of miles north. Recreational boats, like the one that capsized earlier this month, try to mix in unnoticed with fishing and pleasure vessels during the day.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.