Mar 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

At least 8 dead after boats capsize off San Diego coast

Black's Beach, San Diego. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

At least eight people are dead after two fishing boats capsized off the coast of San Diego, California, authorities said at a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department press briefing on Sunday.

Driving the news: Officials were alerted to the incident by a 911 call at around 11:30 pm local time on Saturday, SDFD Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said.

  • Once rescuers arrived at San Diego's Black's Beach, access to the area was "very difficult" due to the tide and the coastal cliff, Gartland added.

The big picture: It's not yet clear what caused the boats to capsize and no survivors were found, Gartland said.

  • The person who placed the 911 call said that eight people had been on one vessel and 15 were on the other, he added.
  • Eight bodies were recovered from the beach and the water, but no details were available about the nationalities of the deceased, according to Gartland.
  • "This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies that I can think of," Gartland said.
  • Lifeguards and U.S. Coast Guard were continuing the search and rescue operations Sunday.
  • The SDFD and U.S. Coast Guard did not immediately reply to Axios' request for comment.
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