UPDATE: Maritime Smuggling Event Results in Second Death
IMPERAL BEACH, Calif.—Tuesday afternoon, a second person succumbed to their injuries as a result of the maritime smuggling event on February 3rd.
Early Monday morning, a distressed vessel quickly overturned in the high surf. USBP agents were first on scene at the beach and found the capsized boat along with seven people nearby, two of which needed life-saving measures.
USBP agents began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the two men who were in a critical state until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived. EMS then transported the two to a hospital where one, a 62-year-old Mexican national, was pronounced dead upon arrival. The second individual, a 44-year-old Mexican national, was initially in grave condition but was pronounced dead yesterday at 4:03 p.m.
Prior to his passing, due to the man’s condition, San Diego Sector Border Patrol’s International Liaison Unit (ILU) along with the Foreign Operations Branch (FOB) immediately started to coordinate with the Mexican Consulate to have a family member be by the man’s side. As a result of ILU and FOB efforts, a family member met with a representative from the Mexican Consulate at the hospital early yesterday evening to confirm the identification of the 44-year-old deceased man.
“Maritime smuggling is extremely dangerous and smugglers place an emphasis on monetary gain over victim safety,” stated USBP’s San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “I commend all those involved who did everything they could in an attempt to save these victims’ lives.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.