BREAKING: At least eight dead as two panga fishing boats crash and capsize in San Diego, California

At least eight dead as two panga fishing boats crash and capsize in San Diego, California

Two panga fishing boats crashed and subsequently capsized off Black’s Beach in San Diego County, California, leaving at least eight people dead.


At least eight people are reported to have died after two panga fishing boats crashed and capsized late on Saturday, March 11, near Black’s Beach in San Diego County, California. What started out as a rescue operation tragically transformed into one of recovery.

In a statement to ABC News, fire department officials said that a 911 emergency alert was received at around 11:30pm by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Units responded to a call from a female who informed the operator that she was one of 15 occupants of a panga boat that had landed safely near what turned out to be Black’s Beach. Another boat containing eight passengers had capsized at sea she added. Specifically, the incident is thought to have occurred off La Jolla Farms Road, south of Torrey Pines Gliderport.

They explained that using the woman’s GPS settings, lifeguards and emergency crews were deployed to the location. On arrival, they discovered two capsized boats and bodies floating in the water. Seven bodies were initially recovered from the sea.

An eighth body was then found by CBP Air and Marine Operations officers during their search. Initial suspicions are that the boats were possibly transporting illegal migrants from Mexico.

Speaking with OnScene TV, San Diego Fire-Rescue’s deputy chief of operations, Daniel Eddy, told them: “We couldn’t get any helicopters up. We had boats in the water, but at first light, once all the conditions clear, we will have Coast Guard out here and San Diego Fire-Rescue and lifeguards doing a joint search through the water for any possible victims that are left”, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

He added: “We tried to launch helicopters both from San Diego Fire and Coast Guard but due to the conditions, they couldn’t get up. Coast Guard finally got up with their copter but due to the conditions of the fog in the area, it was hard for their forward-looking thermal imaging cameras to get through to see anything in the water”.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]