The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 18 presumed migrants, including children, that had been stranded at sea without food or water for five days after their boat broke down, officials said on Nov. 24.

They were rescued in international waters near the U.S.-Mexico border.

“At 4 p.m. @USCG responded to a report of 18, presumed migrants, in a disabled vessel near the #SWborder. #CG launched a helicopter crew and recovered 5 adults and 2 children. A Mexican naval vessel rescued the remaining 11,” USCG Southern California said on Twitter.

“Occupants said they had been without food/water for 5 days,” they added.

The U.S. Coast Guard San Diego office told NBC San Diego that officials received a distress call at around 4 p.m. after the boat was spotted by a passing vessel off the coast of Baja, California.

The two children were reportedly a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.

The migrants on board were suffering from sun overexposure as well as lack of food and water, and at least three were taken to San Diego hospitals, NBC reported, citing SDFD officials. Their condition is unknown.

Sea Conditions were ‘Brutal’

USCG spokesperson Adam Stanton told the publication that the conditions at sea were brutal, with rough seas and the boat taking on water. He added that rescuers were surprised the vessel didn’t sink, considering it had a dead motor and was weighed down by the numerous passengers onboard.

None of the individuals were in the water when they were found, and all of them were wearing life jackets at the time of their rescue, Stanton said.

Officials do not believe there are any more passengers that may have been lost at sea, ABC reported.

In a follow-up post on Nov. 24, Southern California warned that hypothermia could occur in any water temperature below 70°F.

“During today’s rescue, the air and sea temperatures were close to 60°F,” officials said while urging people not to take to the sea.

In October, three individuals were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Heartland roughly 25 miles offshore from Empire, Louisiana, after their boat sank during a fishing trip, leaving them stranded at sea and fending off shark attacks.

Officials said the three individuals were discovered after they failed to return home from the fishing trip, prompting concern from a family member.

Authorities later found them stranded in the sea and suffering from severe hyperthermia, dehydration, and fatigue after being in the water for over 28 hours. Two of the three individuals were fending off sharks and had injuries to their hands, officials said.

They were later transferred by helicopter to University Medical Center New Orleans for treatment, and officials said they were in stable condition.


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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