The U.S Coast Guard said Saturday that a rescue crew saved 19 migrants from a boat that was seen drifting off the coast of Los Angeles.
On Saturday morning, a good Samaritan contacted the Los Angeles-Long Beach Coast Guard after spotting a disabled panga-style vessel off the coast of Redondo Beach, the Coast Guard said in a news release.
A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew then located the disabled boat about 18 miles west of Redondo Beach, the Coast Guard said.
“With the help of Baywatch Redondo, the rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles safely transferred 19 people from the disabled vessel to safety,” the Coast Guard said.
The disabled boat was then towed and taken to the Coast Guard’s Los Angeles-Long Beach base ,where the migrants were processed by Customs and Border Protection.
“This case highlights the inherent risks posed to migrants attempting to enter the United States by sea and the dynamic nature of our operations,” Coast Guard Capt. Ryan Manning said in a statement. “The Coast Guard and our local partners responded to a report of a vessel in distress and, after ensuring the safety of everyone involved, shifted to enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. The Coast Guard routinely patrols the California coastline to combat illegal migration and ensure the safety of all people on the water.”