18 people rescued after spending 5 days stranded at sea, U.S. Coast Guard says

Eighteen people were rescued from a broken motorboat found roughly 16 miles southwest of San Diego, in international waters near the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said. The passengers on board included at least two young children — a 2-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy — according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The passengers said they were stranded and drifting at sea for five days prior to their rescue, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard said in a statement to CBS News. The group told authorities that they did not have food or water.

The Coast Guard responded to a report on Wednesday afternoon from someone on another vessel who spotted a motorboat that appeared to be disabled with people on board who “were actively trying to flag down” the passerby, the spokesperson said. 

A helicopter crew arrived at the scene around 4 p.m., according to the spokesperson, and loaded as many people into the helicopter as it would carry before traveling back to San Diego.

In total, the Coast Guard said it rescued seven people, including the two children. The remaining 11 passengers were rescued by a Mexican Navy ship, according to the spokesperson. Of the passengers rescued by the Coast Guard, three were taken to the hospital “as a result of being dehydrated, hungry and cold,” the spokesperson said, adding that all were in stable condition on Thursday.

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