The Coast Guard has rescued 18 migrants, including two children under the age of 5, who had been stranded in open water without food or water for at least five days.
The Southern California Coast Guard Department used a helicopter to retrieve the two children, a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, and five adults from the disabled boat that drifted about 16 miles off the coast of Baja California. at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the agency said.
A Mexican naval vessel rescued the remaining 11 passengers.
The stranded “suspected migrants” told the Coast Guard they had been without food and water for five days.
The passengers also suffered from overexposure to the sun, and at least three were taken to hospitals in San Diego, NBC reported.
USCG spokesman Adam Stanton said rough seas and cold waves poured over the edges of the motorboat, which was overloaded with people and had no working engine. The ship was taking in water, but was not yet sinking.
The 18 passengers wore life jackets. Authorities don’t think any other passengers died in the ocean, ABC said.