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13 Mexican immigrants arrested in boat off California coast

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Thirteen Mexican immigrants found off the San Diego coast in a panga-style boat were taken into custody Saturday morning, authorities said.

San Diego lifeguards intercepted the boat in the surf and towed it a little farther out to sea for the safety of those onboard the panga, an official said.

The U.S. Coast Guard got a report shortly before 7 a.m. that the boat appeared disabled, San Diego lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky told OnSceneTV.

He said no one was injured.

The boat had a motor, but people were using oars, trying to row to shore from about half a mile out, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said.

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Lifeguards were asked to check on the bright blue panga and found it just off the Children’s Pool, off Coast Boulevard.

After they towed the boat farther from the coastline, the Coast Guard took over and towed the boat to shore, at a lifeguard station.

A federal official said the 12 men and one woman were Mexican citizens who entered the United States illegally. The Border Patrol took them into custody.

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© 2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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