3 Dead After Boat Capsizes

Boat Capsizes off the Coast of San Diego, California.


Debris from the capsized boat. Photo Credit: San Diego Fire-Rescue Department via REUTERS

Bridget Scranton, Writer

Off the coast of Point Loma, San Diego on Sunday, May 2, a boat capsized. The boat was likely smuggling migrants when it overturned on the rocky shores. According to the Associated Press, “A packed boat suspected of being used in a human smuggling operation capsized and broke apart in powerful surf along the rocky San Diego coast, killing three people and injuring more than two dozen others, authorities said.”

The boat was a 40-foot cabin cruiser, which deviates from the smaller panga-type boats typically used by smugglers.- USAToday. Of the thirty-two people accounted for on the boat, twenty-nine survived, five of those people were taken to the hospital, and one is in critical condition (United States Coast Guard). The other three have been declared dead by the San Diego County medical examiner. According to 10 News, “The Medical Examiner’s Office identified the deceased boat occupants as María Eugenia Chavez-Segovia, 41; Victor Perez Degollado, 29; and Maricela Hernandez Sanchez, 35.” 

Almost none of the people on the boat had legal status in the United States of America. A majority were Mexican citizens, ones lacking any legal status. “The others were a Guatemalan citizen without legal status in the U.S. and a U.S. citizen who was identified as the pilot, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday.”, according to NBC Sandiego. The Coast Guard suspended their search on Monday, May 3. Captain Timothy Barelli, the Sector San Diego commander, said “Yesterday [Sunday], we were once again reminded how dangerous these ocean smuggling attempts can be and will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to prevent, detect and respond to cases like this…”- United States Coast Guard. Missing Migrants reports that there have been 1,160 recorded migrant deaths from the start of the year until May 5, 2021, 243 of which were in the Americas.