SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office has released the names of the three people who died aboard the suspected smuggling boat. The Medical Examiner said 41-year-old Maria Eugenia Chavez-Segovia, 29-year-old Victor Perez Degollado and 35-year-old Maricela Hernandez Sanchez all died from drowning.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, 29 others were taken to the hospital with varying degrees of injuries. As of Monday night, five remained hospitalized.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol put out a press release that read in part, “Preliminary checks by U.S. Border Patrol agents indicate that all except two of the people on board the boat were Mexican nationals with no legal status to enter the U.S. One of the two non-Mexican individuals was from Guatemala, with no legal status in the U.S. The final person was identified as the captain of the boat. The man, a U.S. citizen, was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).” It added, “Of the 28 undocumented non-citizens taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody for processing, one was identified as an unaccompanied 15-year-old boy. The others were ages 18-39, 21 men and 6 women.”
Emergency crews from multiple local and federal agencies responded to the scene near 200 Catalina Blvd. which was first reported around just before 10 a.m. on Sunday, according to SDFRD.
The Mexican consulate told News 8 on Monday that there had been 33 people on board the boat including 31 Mexican nationals, one person from Guatemala and the person piloting the ship who was of unknown origin.
The Coast Guard continued to search for additional survivors through Sunday night but had suspended the search operation on Monday around 11 a.m.
“After careful consideration using the information from our on-scene crews, partner agency input and the magnitude of the response efforts, the Coast Guard suspended our search on Monday morning,” said Captain Timothy Barelli, the Sector San Diego commander. “Yesterday, we were once again reminded how dangerous these ocean smuggling attempts can be and we will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners to prevent, detect and respond to cases like this to keep the waters of San Diego safe and secure.”
San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero described conditions during the rescues as rough with five to six feet of surf, wind gusts and water temperatures around 60 degrees.
"Our goal was just to rescue everyone we can from the water and along the beach and get them safely transported to the hospital as quickly as we can," said Romero.
Watch: Suspected human smuggling boat capsizes off California coast killing 4, injuring 26