SAN DIEGO – One person is deceased following an attempt by a large group of people to illegally enter the U.S. by swimming around the border barrier and make their way to the beach at Border Field State Park in San Diego.
On October 29, at approximately 11:38 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol agents received a notification of a group of possibly 70 people attempting to illegally swim across the international boundary from Tijuana into the U.S. at Border Field State Park.
An agent in the area reported several individuals in the water, and one responding agent came across a single, unresponsive woman later believed to be from the same group of swimmers. The Border Patrol agent immediately performed CPR on the woman while requesting the response of emergency medical services (EMS) including San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) firefighters and lifeguards. EMS arrived on scene and continued medical aid. At approximately 12:30 a.m., the unresponsive woman was pronounced deceased by EMS. The San Diego Medical Examiner arrived on scene and took custody.
U.S. Border Patrol, along with Air and Marine Operations, U.S. Coast Guard, SDFD, and California State Parks continued to search the area in efforts to locate any outstanding persons who may have been in distress. Border Patrol agents took a total of 36 adult Mexican nationals into custody who had swam around the border barrier, 25 men and 11 women, including 13 people the U.S. Coast Guard rescued from the water. All 36 persons were taken into custody and transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.
“This is yet another example of the ruthless tactics smuggling organizations use to bolster their power and profits,” said San Diego Sector’s Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “We will work tirelessly to pursue and bring to justice those responsible for this tragedy.”
All information provided is according to initial reports from the scene. Following standard procedure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility responded to the scene to investigate the incident.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.