SAN DIEGO — A boat carrying more than two dozen people overturned off the coast of Point Loma Sunday morning, leaving three people dead and many more in the hospital.
The accident happened in the water just west of Cabrillo National Monument around 10 a.m. During a press conference, San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said lifeguards initially got a call about a boat drifting toward the surf line. The boat then hit the reef, and broke apart with 30 people on board, Gartland Said.
Video sent to FOX 5 from a viewer showed the boat bobbing in rough surf offshore. Waves batter the vessel, which is leaning heavily to one side, as people try to climb up and over a railing on the side of the boat. Scattered debris and loose life vests float in the water around the boat. It appears some people were able to grab them and put them on, while others tried to stay afloat by holding debris.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said more than 100 emergency workers had rushed to the area for the rescue effort, with eight fire engines, 10 medics and other local personnel responding alongside members of the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies.
Customs and Border Protection officials could be seen investigating along shore Sunday afternoon. The boat was possibly being used to bring undocumented people into the United States, CBP spokesperson Jeffery Stephenson told City News Service.
San Diego City Councilmember Jen Campbell, who represents the district including Point Loma, said she was “monitoring the incident.”
“While we wait for an official update, my thoughts are with those impacted and the many emergency personnel responding to the scene,” she wrote on Twitter.
The park service managing the Cabrillo monument said on Twitter that the tidepools and the road used to access them were closed until further notice. The park remains open.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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