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Friday, August 22, 2008

Maritime Security: Human Smuggler Boat Caught by Recreational Boater

Reported at The
At 9:30 a.m., the Coast Guard received a VHF radio report from a recreational boater about a vessel severely overloaded with passengers, making way about 18 miles off Point Loma.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) patrol boats, and the Coast Guard Cutter Haddock converged on the scene to find 20 suspected illegal immigrants crammed aboard the 20-foot skiff, La Estrella.

The suspects were turned over to CBP marine interdiction agents for further processing. La Estrella was towed by the cutter back to Coast Guard Station San Diego, where it remains impounded.

“This is a good example of how a vigilant boater can directly contribute to the protection of our homeland,” said Capt Tom Farris, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Diego. “We appreciate the assistance and invite the help of America’s boating public to assist the Coast Guard in keeping our waterways safe and secure.”

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