The Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin out of the Los Angeles-Long Beach command and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Helicopter rescued 15 suspected illegal immigrants who were dropped off on Santa Cruz Island, a spokesman said.
The immigrants first called 9-1-1 on a cellphone Friday, and told the Santa Barbara California Highway Patrol that four people were stranded, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers said.
But the Coast Guard was unable to find anyone in its initial search on Friday.
Then a vessel found four people on the island Sunday and the Coast Guard was contacted again.
When the Blackfin returned at about 5 p.m., the crew found 15 suspected migrants, according to Eggers.
The suspected migrants were transported to Santa Barbara, and turned over to police there. Ultimately will be placed in custody of Customs and Border Protection officers, Eggers said.