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Four people are dead and 27 injured after a crowded boat broke apart and capsized in San Diego, off of the shore of Point Loma.

Authorities are claiming that the craft was involved in a human smuggling operation. Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jeff Sephenson shared with the public that, “our perspective is that this was a smuggling vessel used to smuggle migrants into the United States illegally”.

San Diego lifeguards became aware of the situation around 10 a.m. when they were informed that a boat appeared to be drifting towards the shore. At the time of the report, officials were only made aware of one individual onboard. But it soon became clear that the 40-foot ship actually contained as many as 30.

By the time help arrived, the boat had already incurred significant damage, forcing its occupants into the sea. Though several had managed to swim ashore, others were caught in a rip current.

Through the combined efforts of lifeguards and good samaritans who rushed to provide assistance, 29 people were rescued from the water. The survivors were then taken to local hospitals for medical treatment.

The person believed to be the operator and smuggler of the group was among the survivors.  This alleged perpetrator has been taken into police custody, though no further information regarding their identity had been released.

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