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Coast Guard apprehends 24 in boat off Point Loma

Twenty-four suspected illegal immigrants were in federal custody Friday after being rescued from an overloaded 20-foot boat that became disabled off the coast of Point Loma, authorities said.

The group was rescued Thursday night about four miles southwest of Point Loma by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Edisto and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, the Coast Guard reported.

Amid heavy incoming fog, visibility at the time of the rescue was less than three miles.

“Operations like these at night in heavy fog or other poor weather conditions are inherently dangerous,” Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Farris said in a statement.

“Attempts to smuggle illegal immigrants are often made on vessels that are overloaded and carry minimal survival equipment. It was fortunate we were able to located this vessel before it grounded in the surf or overturned at sea,” he said.