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Two hospitalized after being found injured near suspected smuggling vessel


Two people were taken to a hospital after being found injured near a suspected smuggling vessel off the coast of Point Loma early Monday, federal officials said.

The incident began around 1 a.m. when the Kawasaki jet skiwas spotted about three miles off the coast of the Imperial Beach pier, said Tekae Michael, a Border Patrol special operations supervisor. She said a helicopter crew with Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations Air Unit responded a short time later and observed the vessel heading north toward Point Loma.

Around 1:40 a.m., agents found the watercraft abandoned just south of the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, Michael said. Agents found the two injured people, described only as males, near the Cabrillo National Monument about an hour later.

No information about their condition — or their identities — was immediately released.

The Coast Guard was told a third person might have been on the vessel and was missing, according to Coast Guard spokesperson Alex Gray. Starting around 3:30 a.m., a Coast Guard cutter and Jayhawk helicopter searched the water in the area for the missing person, but no one was found. The search was called off around 6:30 a.m., Gray said.

Michael said she didn’t know anything about a search for a third person. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Staff writer Lyndsay Winkley contributed to this report.

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