One woman has died after a US Customs and Border Protection patrol boat collided with a vessel suspected of smuggling undocumented immigrants off the coast of San Diego County, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a release.
CBP agents reportedly encountered a suspected smuggling vessel near Encinitas yesterday morning, local time.
According to CBP, the vessel’s skipper refused to stop after being hailed, leading to the agents firing warning shots. After the suspected smuggling vessel failed to comply, the two vessels collided.
The suspected smuggler’s vessel capsized, resulting in 20 people going into the water.
The agents pulled everyone out of the water and began administering CPR to one woman who was unresponsive.
US Coast Guard responded to airlift the woman from the CBP vessel. She was later pronounced dead by medical authorities. The cause of death has not been revealed yet.
Of the remaining 19 people who went overboard, four were transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
All 20 people are suspected of attempting to enter the country illegally, CBP said.