Authorities in San Diego, California are looking for survivors after at least one suspected smuggling boat overturned as it approached the beach late Saturday.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm said that a woman on one of two boats approaching the shore called 911 to report that the other panga-style boat capsized off Blacks Beach.
“The woman who called stated that the boat that the boat that overturned had 15 people on it, but that was just an estimate,” he said.
Eight bodies were recovered from knee-deep water as of early Sunday as the foggy weather prevented officials from using helicopters in the search.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Eddie Berrios revealed that while eight fatalities were confirmed, the fate of the second boat's passengers was unknown as they could have been apprehended by Border Patrol after making it to the shore.
“This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies that I can think of in California, certainly here in the city of San Diego,” Chief James Gartland said.