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Eight dead after two boats sink off California

Eight people died in the sinking of two small “contraband” boats overnight from Saturday to Sunday off the city of San Diego, California, local authorities said. “This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies in California that I know of,” James Gartland, a San Diego emergency services official, said on Sunday, appearing to refer to migration flows between Mexico and the United States. United.

The eight victims are adults, he added at a press conference, without disclosing their nationalities. Help was called around 11:30 p.m. local time on Saturday by a person speaking Spanish, who said 15 people were on one boat and eight on the other. Once there, they found that “two boats had capsized,” said James Gartland.

No survivors

Rescuers “did not find any survivors” during their operations, but people were able to reach the shore and “leave the beach”, said James Gartland. The area in which the boats were “is very dangerous, even in broad daylight”, with strong currents, he estimated. The city of San Diego is very close to the border between Mexico and the United States.

Many migrants cross it illegally, a subject that has become a political headache for the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden. Migrants, who want to escape poverty or violence in their countries of origin, often take enormous risks to enter American soil.

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