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Border Patrol agents detain 13 Mexican citizens found in boat off La Jolla

SAN DIEGO — Border Patrol agents detained 13 Mexican citizens found in a boat not far from the La Jolla shoreline on Saturday, according to a U.S. Coast Guard official.

Petty Officer Robert Simpson said that around 6:45 a.m., a panga boat was observed a half-mile off the coast south of the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. Simpson said his understanding was that 12 men and one woman were on the boat. San Diego lifeguards were notified.

“The vessel was getting close to the surf and we didn’t want people in the water so we basically prepared a rescue plan, we had lifeguards deploying from the beach on rescue boards and we also had a lifeguard rescue boat go out in the area which ended up towing the boat away from the surfline,” said San Diego Fire and Rescue Lt. Rich Stropky.

The Coast Guard and San Diego Fire-Rescue lifeguards worked to transport the passengers to shore at Mission Bay. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents then took the passengers, waiting at a lifeguard station, into custody, Simpson said.

“No reports of anything, no injuries or any other issues, other than everybody was compliant at the time and then Coast Guard took over the scene and they’re handling it right now,” said Lt. Stropky.

Attempts to reach the CBP for comment Saturday were unsuccessful.