At least eight individuals have lost their lives after a panga boat overturned near Black’s Beach in San Diego County, California, according to authorities. Emergency services received a call around 11:30 pm local time on Saturday from someone on another panga boat, a type of small fishing boat powered by an outboard motor, reporting victims in the water.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department immediately responded to the scene, but the first rescuers faced difficulty accessing the beach due to high tide. They had to wade through water ranging from knee to waist-deep to reach the victims.
Initially, lifeguards spotted seven bodies, but with the assistance of the US Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations, another body was found. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office has taken custody of the bodies, according to a department statement.
Several agencies, including the fire-rescue department, San Diego Police Department, US Customs and Border Protection, and US Coast Guard, responded to the incident.
Coast Guard and border protection officials have announced that they will hold a joint press conference on Sunday to provide additional details about the incident.
The incident is tragic, and authorities are likely to investigate what led to the panga boat capsizing. With high tides making access difficult for rescuers, the event highlights the need for additional safety measures and awareness around boating in the region. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims during this difficult time.
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