According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, Lauren Mack, there have been approximately 20 attempts to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country by sea, over the last 8 months.
15 people were spotted and rescued today, about 15 miles offshore and 20 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, after being stranded at sea for three days, in an apparent smuggling operation gone bad.
She goes on to say that it isn't unusual to use the sea to smuggle the illegals into the U.S. but that it is traditionally done during the summer months when the water is warmer.
The group was handed over to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for further investigation.
The 15 people, 11 men and 4 women, suffered no injuries or deaths, but were dehydrated and suffering from sunburns and had been at sea with no food or water.
In a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Protection spokesmen, Vince Bond, "We don't know if they're undocumented Mexican migrants or not," and he adds, "Conventional wisdom would think that's the case, but we don't know yet."
Updated reports show that 14 of the people were from Mexico and one woman from El Salvador and authorities are trying to identify the organization behind the smuggling operation.