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Illegal Aliens Rescued from Open Water after Abandoned by Jet-Ski Smuggler

Release Date: 
May 2, 2014

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif.—Wednesday night, maritime law-enforcement partners rescued a man and woman from the ocean who had entered the U.S. illegally.

The incident occurred at approximately 11 p.m., when a jet ski was observed crossing from Mexico into the U.S.  As the jet ski approached the Imperial Beach Pier, the Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) notified a nearby Harbor Police boat patrolling the area in coordination with other law enforcement agencies through the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM).  The jet ski operator abandoned his two passengers about one and a half miles from shore and fled back to Mexico.

Harbor Police responded quickly to the area where they found a 28-year old male and a 25-year-old female.  While en route to the dock, officers observed that the subjects were showing signs of hypothermia.  Emergency medical services met the boat as it arrived at the dock.  The couple was evaluated and transported to a local medical facility for further medical evaluation and treatment.

Both subjects were released from the hospital at approximately 2 a.m.  During questioning both subjects admitted they were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. and were taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.

The U.S. Border Patrol in collaboration with Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies coordinate operations through the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) to address the transnational maritime threat along the Southern California coast.  The ReCoM mission is to increase homeland security by eliminating transnational crime along the coast.  The Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) in San Diego is the tactical command center for ReCoM.

If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021