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Coast Guard, National Park Service locate 15 suspected illegal migrants

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Date: July 10, 2011
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

The Coast Guard and National Park Service conducted a joint search near Santa Cruz Island, Calif., that concluded with the apprehension of 15 suspected illegal migrants, July 10.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center personnel received a relayed cell phone call from a person stating that he and three others had been dropped off on an island and were stranded, July 8.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles and the Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin were launched to conduct a first-light search but were unable to locate anyone.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast informing mariners in the vicinity of Santa Cruz Island to contact authorities immediately if they were approached by anyone from the island asking for assistance.

A vessel contacted the Coast Guard stating they were with four people on the island who had requested assistance. The cutter Blackfin and National Park Service personnel arrived on-scene and discovered there were 15 suspected migrants instead of the originally reported four.

All 15 people were taken onboard the Blackfin where they were transported to Santa Barbara, Calif., and transferred to the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, Santa Barbara Police Department and

Did You Know?

Island fox                                                  timhaufphotography.com

Island foxes are the smallest North American canids and occur only on the Channel Islands. The average weight for an adult male is 5-6 pounds, about the size of a house cat.