Two Smuggling Boats Collide off Black's Beach; 8 Suspected Migrants Die

Eight suspected migrants died on Saturday night as two apparent smuggling boats collided off the coast of Black’s Beach near Torrey Pines in San Diego, California — one of the worst such disasters in local history.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported:

Officials were alerted to the incident when a Spanish-speaking woman called 911 around 11:30 p.m. asking for help. She said two boats were near Black’s Beach, one with eight people on board and a second with somewhere between eight and 15 people.
She told dispatchers the one she was on had made it to shore while the other had capsized and people were in the water.

However, emergency crews found both boats capsized and did not find any survivors, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said.

It is unknown whether any survivors were able to hide once they made it onshore. Black’s Beach, a popular beach for surfers and nude sunbathers, sits below 300-foot high cliffs that are difficult to scale at night.

Blacks Beach disaster 2 (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Two boats, one overturned, sit on Blacks Beach as a heavy fog blankets the area Sunday, March 12, 2023, in San Diego. Authorities say multiple people were killed when two suspected smuggling boats overturned off the coast San Diego, and crews were searching for additional victims. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The surf is high even in good weather. In recent weeks, the cliffs have been unstable due to heavy rains that have drenched California. A rockslide at Black’s Beach caused officials to warn people away from the area.

In 2016, 17 migrants were rescued after a boat sent a distress signal off the coast of San Diego. The year before, a migrant died after a boat capsized when it attempted to evade U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officers.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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