An emergency call was made shortly after 5:30 a.m. Friday saying a vessel might have capsized near the Silver Strand. For hours authorities searched the water and shoreline for survivors when a helicopter spotted a group of people walking on the beach. Moments later, border patrol agents took 15 people into custody.
Border Patrol agents eventually found and seized the fishing boat, which appeared to be undamaged. Authorities believed someone involved in the smuggling attempt may have made the fake distress call in a failed bid to divert attention from the group's landing on the beach.
The City News Service contributed to this report.