Boatload of suspected immigrants intercepted at sea


Coast Guardintercepts panga near San Clemente Island

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SAN DIEGO — U.S. Coast Guard crews transferred 10 suspected undocumented migrants this weekend to San Diego when they were intercepted aboard a panga near San Clemente Island.

The individuals were taken into custody Saturday morning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Task Force agents in San Diego, according to the agency.

“Maritime trafficking is a threat to national security and harmful to everyone involved,” Capt. Jonathan S. Spaner, commanding officer of Sector San Diego, said. “I commend the crews on this mission for achieving a safe and effective resolution.”

The panga was spotted entering U.S. waters Friday afternoon by a U.S. CBP aircraft.

A small boat crew comprised of Coast Guard Cutters Steadfast and Haddock was launched that evening to intercept the vessel. The Steadfast is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter while the Haddock is a 87-foot patrol boat.

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft from the Coast Guard station in Sacramento as well as a CPB AMO vessel were also deployed.

The migrants were transferred without incident on board the Haddock and brought to San Diego, with the panga towed behind, according to the Coast Guard.

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