SAN DIEGO — Four people were hospitalized and more than a dozen others taken into custody after a panga was spotted by the U.S. Coast Guard off San Diego’s coast Saturday.
Authorities first noticed the small fishing boat some time around 8 a.m. and eventually brought the vessel packed with 21 people to the shore at Mission Bay.
They were met by U.S. Border Patrol and a major response from San Diego Fire-Rescue, which initially thought there were a significant number of injuries, SDFD Batt. Chief Robert Allen told OnScene.TV.
In the end, there were only four people with back injuries from dealing with rough seas who needed medical attention, while the other 17 were immediately taken into custody by immigration authorities, Allen said.
The injured could be seen getting loaded onto stretchers and placed in ambulances, while the others were gathered and waved into a USBP van. The fire department quickly called off many of its units.
No further details were immediately available.
Check back for updates to this developing story.