Migrant Interdiction Statement

Published: 2021-06-29 06:39:46
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On 22 March 2008 I was underway as coxswain on the CG SPC-LE 33120 for a scheduled law enforcement patrol at 0000. Our patrol began with a sweep down to the U.S./Mexico border area referred to as the "Dog Leg". We then proceeded due west to approximately 6 NM offshore and drifted in that vicinity monitoring the radar for contacts. At approximately 0415 we overheard the CGC Petrel call out a possible TOI over channel 23A to the CG Helicopter 6040. I decided our crew could possibly be of assistance and started driving in the direction of the border where we could visually see the 6040 overhead. While en route, at approximately 0445, my crew, consisting of BM3 A. Miranda, BM3 D. Hamilton and FN L. Teague, spotted a small white light moving north toward Point Loma. Noticing that there were no visible navigation lights to whatever this vessel was, we decided to interdict the vessel with intentions of boarding to figure out why the vessel was underway with insufficient navigation lighting. I maneuvered the 33120 alongside the vessel "El Pescador" with blue lights flashing and my crew and I noticed there was no one out on deck, the windows were blackened, and the door was closed. It was about 24 feet long, blue hull, and white superstructure. The vessel was not stopping. I then sounded the siren to get audile attention of any passengers. After the siren wailed for approximately 3 seconds, a man of Spanish decent came out of the cabin, acknowledged us and then stopped the boat. The man, determined to be the operator, came back out on deck and responded to my boarding officer's "Where are you going?" with "Los Coronados. Los Coronados." He spoke a few other words in Spanish which FN Teague interpreted as "I'm lost. I'm giving a tour of the Coronados." I pulled the 33120 directly alongside and put over a two man boarding team: BM3 Miranda and FN Teague in position: 32˚ 36.1N, 117˚ 12.9W (geographically about 4 NM due south of Point Loma). Upon boarding, the team asked him how many people were onboard and the operator said, "Ocho." BM3 Miranda looked into the cabin and came out saying there were probably more than eight because they were all crowded into the space and it was difficult to figure an exact amount. The boarding team asked the operator if he was sure if eight was the right number and he then said, "Oh, no nueve. Nueve." The boarding team retrieved the vessel's registration form and the operator's voting card from Mexico as his only form of identification. I called Sector San Diego over channel 23A to inform then that we'd stopped a vessel with 9 possible Mexican nationals onboard and asked for assistance from any CG assets in the area and requested contact with Customs/Border Patrol. Sector responded that the CGC Petrel was in the area with their small boat and we on there way to our position. At approximately 0515 CGC Petrel and their small

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