15 suspected illegal immigrants arrested at Coronado beach - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

15 suspected illegal immigrants arrested at Coronado beach

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CORONADO (CNS) - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a group of suspected illegal immigrants on a Coronado beach Friday after a getting an apparently bogus boating distress call that may have been intended as a diversion, authorities reported.

Someone made an emergency call shortly after 5:30 a.m. to report that a vessel was taking on water and may have overturned near the Silver Strand, according to USBP officials.

Fifteen men and women believed to be undocumented immigrants were taken into custody north of Hotel Del Coronado a short time later, Border Patrol Agent Michael Jimenez told reporters.

The U.S. Coast Guard, meanwhile, sent out a boat and helicopter to search for any other members of the group who may have been in the ocean, USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry Dunphy said. By late morning, there were no reports of anyone being found in the water.

Border Patrol agents eventually found and seized the migrants' fishing boat, which appeared to be undamaged, Jimenez said. The spokesman told news crews that authorities believed someone involved in the smuggling attempt may have made the fake distress call in a failed bid to divert attention from the group's landing on the beach.

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