Imperial Beach, Calif., — The San Diego Border Patrol has encountered several incidents that underscore the ongoing challenges we face in securing our nation's borders. These events serve as stark reminders of the dangers associated with trusting smugglers and attempting to cross the border via ocean waters.
On September 11, 2023, at approximately 2:40 AM, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Imperial Beach station observed three individuals running north on the Border Field State Park beach. Unfortunately, the subjects evaded apprehension by returning south into Mexico. Subsequently, two more individuals were spotted north of their location, and with the assistance of the ATV unit, both were apprehended, including one suspected smuggler.
In another incident on September 12, 2023, around 12:30 AM, 20 swimmers were spotted 200 yards west of the Border Field State Park Beach. Upon being detected by Border Patrol agents and our law enforcement partners, they chose to return to Mexico. Disturbingly, this group included at least three children.
Further illustrating the dangers of ocean crossings, at approximately 2:00 AM that same night, a group of six swimmers was observed crossing the Tijuana River north into the tributary. San Diego agents intercepted the group near Seacoast Drive, resulting in the arrest of all six migrants. "These incidents highlight the relentless efforts of smugglers who exploit vulnerable individuals, putting their lives at risk regardless of age or swimming ability.” Said Chief Patrol Agent McGurk-Daniel. “Attempting to cross the border through treacherous waters is a life-threatening choice. We urge individuals to avoid these perilous journeys and to enter the United States through a designated port of entry."
In a related incident at approximately 2:15 AM, a personal watercraft (PWC) was spotted from the State Beach traveling north from Mexico at a high rate of speed. The PWC dropped off two individuals near the Hotel Del Coronado south of Avenida del Sol. Agents responded promptly, however the subjects could not be located, and the PWC returned to Mexico. Later that morning, at approximately 5:00 AM, a second PWC was observed with two individuals onboard crossing the international border. Moments later, the PWC dropped off one individual near the Imperial Beach pier before returning to Mexico. Responding agents successfully arrested the subject. These events happened just days after a similar event last Saturday where a convicted rapist was smuggled into the United States by a PWC and arrested by agents in Imperial Beach west Dahlia Ave.
Chief Patrol Agent McGurk-Daniel concluded, "These incidents underscore the complex and ever-evolving challenges we face in safeguarding our borders and keeping our communities safe. We remain dedicated to our mission of protecting our nation while emphasizing the grave risks involved in entrusting human smugglers and attempting unlawful border crossings, especially through treacherous ocean waters. Visit @USBPChiefSDC on Twitter