Border Patrol agents rescued nearly two dozen illegal aliens from what officials suspect was a smuggling boat in the early hours of Monday off the shores of Point Loma, California, Fox News reported.
A Border Patrol representative told the outlet that the agency spotted the incoming unlawful entrants around 2:50 a.m. local time when an agent noticed a “panga type vessel” near the rocks off Sunset Cliff through vehicle-based video surveillance.
The Coast Guard deployed a small boat to intercept the incoming vessel, and Coast Guard officials tried to get in contact with the operator of the panga.
However, the operator ignored the Coast Guard’s commands to stop, according to Fox News.
Then the panga’s engine died. The boat was drifting nearer to the coast. Officials feared the boat would capsize like a similar boat bringing in undocumented aliens earlier this month, resulting in three fatalities.
The Coast Guard was able to reach the panga and tow it to safety.
Once the boat’s passengers were ashore and off the boat, officials discovered that 20 men and three women had been on board the small vessel, the outlet reported.
After interviewing the 23 passengers, Border Patrol agents determined their presence in the U.S. is unlawful.
Twenty of the undocumented aliens hailed from Mexico. The remaining three came from Guatemala, according to Fox News.
Authorities have seized the panga as an investigation into the incident is underway.
The passengers have been taken for processing to a Border Patrol station, Fox News reported.
About three weeks earlier, a “packed” boat human smugglers were using capsized and snapped near Point Loma’s rugged peninsula, about five miles from where the panga was intercepted on Monday, according to Fox News.
That incident saw three fatalities, including a 41-year-old woman, a 35-year-old man and a man whose age authorities have not determined. All were illegal immigrants, the outlet reported.
Two of the capsized boat’s survivors were hit with federal charges on suspicion of being human smugglers, Fox News reported.
Because of Joe Biden we now have the highest rate of illegal immigration in 20 years.pic.twitter.com/T52ZJ7YHeV
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 15, 2021
Monday’s incident comes amid an ongoing border crisis repeatedly downplayed by the Biden administration.
The U.S.-Mexico border is seeing an unprecedented surge in migrants trying to illegally enter the United States.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamal Harris have been criticized for aggravating the issue through their actions and inactions.
The Border Patrol representative who spoke with Fox News said the San Diego sector has seen a 92 percent spike in maritime apprehensions and “an increase in narcotics seizures via maritime smuggling events.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.