If you think the suspected smuggling boat tragedy off Point Loma was a rare or unique event, think again.
At least 3 people died when a boat carrying 32 people capsized and broke apart in the waters off The Cabrillo National Monument Sunday morning.
Most smuggling operations don’t end up like this, many of them are never detected except for an empty boat left onshore. A big concern is how the Coast Guard and Border Patrol face rising smuggling incidents of all sorts, human, drugs and various contraband. While they won’t confirm with me that the numbers have gone up more since the beginning of the year, other sources indicate that's the case. It is however the case with border crossings with hundreds of people reportedly entering the U.S. illegally every day.
Until the national borders are fully secured, expect more of this. I don’t blame people for wanting to get their families to a better life — as long as it’s legal. In the meantime, the Coast Guard is faced with extraordinary challenges.
Captain Tim Barelli, Commander, US Coast Guard, San Diego Sector talked to the show about the tragedy. He says smuggling events at sea are as much rescue as law enforcement for the Coast Guard. LISTEN BELOW: