Boat suspected being used in human smuggling capsizes off San Diego coast; 3 killed, 27 hospitalized

A packed boat being used in a suspected human smuggling operation capsized Sunday and broke apart in powerful surf along the rocky San Diego coast, killing three people and injuring more than two dozen others, authorities said.

Lifeguards, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies responded around 10:30 a.m. following reports of an overturned vessel in the waves near the rugged peninsula of Point Loma, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The original call was for a handful of people overboard but as rescuers arrived in boats and jet skis they quickly realized “it was going to be a bigger situation with more people,” said San Diego Lifeguard Services Lt. Rick Romero.

“There are people in the water, drowning, getting sucked out the rip current there,” he said.

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