STORY: "This is not necessarily people trying to find a better life. This is part of a transnational criminal organization effort to smuggle people into the United States," Sector Commander for the San Diego Coast Guard, Captain James Spitler said.
San Diego emergency crews began a search and recovery operation late Saturday night, after receiving a 911 call from a Spanish-speaker about fishing boats in distress off the coast of San Diego's Black's Beach.
According to San Diego Fire-Rescue Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland, crews arrived to find two fishing boats capsized in a 400-foot (366 m) area, and eight bodies were recovered from the water and the beach,
"This is one of the worst smuggling tragedies that I can think of in California, certainly here in the city of San Diego," Gartland added.