1 Dead, 1 Hospitalized After Smuggling Boat Capsizes Off Imperial Beach

A suspected smuggling boat is seen after it capsized off the coast of Imperial Beach on Feb. 3, 2020. (Credit: U.S. Border Patrol)

A suspected smuggling boat is seen after it capsized off the coast of Imperial Beach on Feb. 3, 2020. (Credit: U.S. Border Patrol)

One person died and a second was hospitalized after a suspected smuggling boat carrying seven people capsized in unusually high surf and cold weather off the coast of Imperial Beach early Monday, authorities said.

Federal officers spotted the boat, estimated to be a Bayliner-style vessel about 16 to 18 feet long, heading north off the coast of Imperial Beach around 2:30 a.m. Officials said the boat appeared to have engine problems, and at least two people were seen entering the water and swimming toward shore, said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jeff Stephenson. A short time later, the vessel appeared to capsize in heavy surf.

Border Patrol, Coast Guard and Air and Marine Operations officers responded and found seven people on the beach, including two who needed medical attention. Agents performed CPR on the injured pair while paramedics were called.

The two were taken to a hospital, where a 62-year-old Mexican national was pronounced dead. The second man, a 44-year-old Mexican national, was reported in grave condition and was being treated for injuries believed to be life threatening.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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