Eight people are dead and at least seven others remain missing after two boats carrying migrants capsized off the coast of San Diego on Saturday, local officials said.
Authorities were alerted to the wrecks shortly after 11:30 p.m. when a woman called 911 saying she had traveled from Mexico in a boat that overturned, leaving several people stranded, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Initial recovery efforts by the San Diego Lifeguards off Black’s Beach near Torrey Pines were hampered due to heavy fog.
“We couldn’t get any helicopters up,” San Diego Fire-Rescue’s deputy chief of operations Daniel Eddy told OnScene TV, the Union-Tribune reported.
“We had boats in the water, but at first light, once all the conditions clear, we will have Coast Guard out here and San Diego Fire-Rescue and lifeguards doing a joint search through the water for any possible victims that are left.”
According to Eddy, the two boats churned up an 800-yard debris field across Black’s Beach, which is jointly maintained by the city and the state.
A Coast Guard frigate was dispatched to the area, as well as San Diego police and Customs and Border Protection officers, the Union-Tribune said.
Up to 18 migrants are believed to have been traveling on the two vessels, the Times of San Diego said.
A videographer from the scene told the outlet that the bodies of men and women washed up on shore for several hours.
The remains of two panga boats, or small fishing vessels, as well as life jackets and fuel barrels, were also recovered, KGTV reported.
San Diego Fire-Rescue could not be reached for a comment.
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