Suspected smuggling boat capsizes off San Diego, leaving at least two dead

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Two people were killed and more than 20 others injured when a suspected human smuggling boat capsized off the San Diego coast on Sunday, according to authorities and reports.

Emergency crews responded at around 10:30 a.m. local time after park workers found people in distress off the Point Loma peninsula, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Lifeguards pulled 25 people from the waters, but two of the patients died at the scene, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The 23 others were taken to local hospitals with “varying degrees of injuries,” said Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the department.

The group had reportedly been riding in a panga, a low-slung fishing boat often used by smugglers to bring people illegally into the US from Mexico, according to the newspaper.

“It is very rocky over there, and the waves while they weren’t too high, they looked pretty strong,” Ysea said, enough to slam a boat into the rocks.

Boats and aircraft from local and federal agencies were still searching for possible survivors in the water near the Cabrillo National Monument at around midday.

Close to 100 first responders including medics, engine crews and a chaplain, were assigned by fire officials to work on the large “debris field” at the scene, authorities said.

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