13 suspected immigrants rescued from ocean off California

February 28, 2020 - 1:43 pm

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Thirteen people were rescued Friday and as many as three others were missing after a suspected immigrant smuggling boat dropped the group off in the ocean off a Southern California beach, authorities said.

The rescue effort was focused on the waters off the city of Del Mar, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Firefighters, lifeguards and other agencies responded after authorities received reports of people in the water calling for help in Spanish at about 4:30 a.m., a city statement said.

Surface and dive teams were searching for one to three others believed to have been transported by a boat from Mexico and dropped off, the statement said.

The U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guard were attempting to locate the panga boat, a type of open boat favored by smugglers.

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