A woman who appeared to be part of a large group of immigrants who tried to swim across the US-Mexico border in the cold Pacific waters early Saturday morning died, officials said.
Paramedics announced the death of the woman, whose identity has not been revealed, according to a statement released Saturday night from US Customs and Border Protection.
US Customs and Border Protection said the migrants, including 25 men and 11 women from Mexico, were detained by US Border Patrol for processing. Some made landfall in the United States and others were rescued at sea.
There were no reports of injuries among that group.
Border Patrol officials received a report that as many as 70 people were trying to swim from Tijuana to Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach, around 11:38 p.m. Friday, according to CBP.
The Border Patrol, the US Coast Guard, the San Diego Fire Rescue Department, which includes lifeguards, and California State Parks officials responded.
The Coast Guard brought in two ships and a Jayhawk helicopter and rescued 13 people in an operation that lasted from nearly midnight until noon Saturday, Coast Guard Class I public affairs specialist Adam Stanton said.
CBP said those 13 were part of the group of 36 being processed. It was not clear if there were more migrants who had returned to Playas de Tijuana or were missing.
The steel border barrier of the United States with Mexico extends about 300 feet into the sea, much shorter than Ocean piers in Southern California, which might make the ocean lane look easy. But the Pacific water temperaturesEven when they are in their lower sixties, can be fatal.
The water temperature for coastal areas of San Diego County was in the low 60s early Saturday morning with waves of 2 to 3 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
Encounters with illegal immigrants at the southern border topped 1.7 million for the fiscal year that ended in September, an all-time high, according to CBP data.
Some of these immigrants were Trying to reach California by sea, often by filling small boats known as “bangas” to dangerously unstable levels and ending up on an unfamiliar beach in San Diego County.
On May 2, a trawler-class vessel carrying 33 people flipped off san diegosending suspected immigrants into the cold, harsh waters. Three people died.