SAN PEDRO, Calif. - The Coast Guard intercepted a sport-fisher carrying 15 undocumented non-citizens attempting to enter the United States off the coast of Orange County, California, on April 20, 2023.
The Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour spotted the overloaded 36-ft vessel around 4:30 p.m., as it headed northbound near San Clemente with an estimated 8-12 people onboard. The response was coordinated with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Special Enforcement Group (SEG) and Air and Marine Operations (AMO).
After tracking the vessel for four hours, the Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour interdicted it in conjunction with CBP and AMO officers off the Orange County coast. All 15 individuals claimed Mexican nationality and were taken into custody by CBP SEG officers and safely returned to shore. CBP AMO seized the vessel.
"The maritime environment is inherently dangerous, and vessels illegally entering the United States often lack appropriate safety equipment putting all people onboard at serious risk," said Lt. Cmdr. Keith Robinson, Coast Guard's Law Enforcement Division Chief in Los Angeles. "Thanks to the exceptional professionalism and coordination of the Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour and our federal law enforcement partners from CBP, 15 people, including two young children, were safely recovered from a dangerous transit in an overloaded vessel from Mexico to the United States."