Nineteen people are rescued from a disable boat Saturday floating off the Southern California coast.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Los Angeles Baywatch boats responded to a distress call at about 9 a.m. from another boat. That individual reported a panga-style boat in need of assistance.
A helicopter rescue crew from Air Station San Diego located the boat 18 miles west of Redondo Beach, Coast Guard officials said.
The crew of Baywatch Redondo helped the Coast Guard take the passengers from the boat to the Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro, where agents from Customs and Border Protection were assigned to process them, according to the Coast Guard.
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The Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin towed the disabled vessel to the San Pedro base where it will be seized by Air and Marine Operations, Coast Guard officials said.
“This case highlights the inherent risks posed to migrants attempting to enter the United States by sea and the dynamic nature of our operations,'' said Capt. Ryan Manning, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. “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.''