Eighteen people were rescued from a wrecked motorboat found about 16 miles southwest of San Diego in international waters near the US-Mexico border, officials said. According to the US Coast Guard, the passengers included at least two young children – a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy.
A Coast Guard spokesman said in a statement to CBS News that the passengers said they were stranded and drifted at sea for five days before their rescue. The group told officials that they had no food or water.
The spokesman said the Coast Guard responded Wednesday afternoon to a report from someone on another vessel who saw a motorboat that appeared to be disabled with people on board, which was “actively trying to flag down were staying”.
According to the spokesperson, a helicopter crew arrived at the scene around 4 p.m., and loaded as many people into the helicopter as they could before heading back to San Diego.
The Coast Guard said that in total it rescued seven people, including two children. The remaining 11 passengers were rescued by a Mexican Navy ship, according to the spokesman. Three of the passengers rescued by the Coast Guard were taken to hospital “because of dehydration, hunger and cold,” the spokesman said, adding that all were in stable condition on Thursday.