The Coast Guard rescued 18 migrants — including two children under the age of 5 — that had been stranded in open water without food or water for at least five days.
The Southern California Coast guard branch used a helicopter to airlift the two children, a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, and five adults out of the disabled boat found floating about 16 miles off the coast of Baja California at 4 pm Wednesday, the agency said.
A Mexican naval vessel rescued the remaining 11 passengers.
The stranded “presumed migrants” told the Coast Guard they had been without food and water for five days.
The passengers were also suffering from sun overexposure and at least three were taken to San Diego hospitals, NBC reported.
USCG spokesperson Adam Stanton said the rough seas and cold waves were spilling over the edges of the motorboat, which was overloaded with people and no longer had a working motor. The vessel was taking on water, but wasn’t sinking yet.
The 18 passengers were wearing life vests. Authorities do not think any other passengers were lost in the ocean, ABC said.