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Migrants' rights group speaks out after dangerous water rescue near Sunset Cliffs

Posted at 8:09 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 23:09:54-05

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — New images of San Diego lifeguards and firefighters pulling two people from the water near Sunset Cliffs Wednesday night show how treacherous the rescue was.

"We learned that the two victims were dropped off in the surf by jet skis that initially started possibly from Tijuana," said Battalion Chief Craig Newell with San Diego Fire-Rescue.

Newell called it a miracle save.

"These two [people] are very lucky to be alive. The surf is very large. The water's very cold. This is wintertime," said Newell.

Last month, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents stated they've seen a sharp increase in human smuggling.

In May of 2021, a boat crashed off the coast of Point Loma, killing three people.

Last March, another crash in Imperial County killed 13 people.

"The asylum processes remain completely closed off to them, and they seek these other much more dangerous ways of crossing," said Pedro Rios, San Diego Director of American Friends Service Committee.

American Friends Service Committee is an advocacy organization for protecting migrants' rights.

Rios believes one of the reasons for the rise has to do with the "Remain in Mexico" policy, which forces asylum seekers to wait in their home country for their U.S. court hearings.

"There are thousands of documented cases of people who have faced abusive conditions including death as a result of having to what in Mexican border towns," Rios said.

He's calling for the Biden administration to better protect migrants and end the policies that hinder them from seeking asylum.

"Allow for people to arrive to be processed humanly without the risks that they are currently facing," Rios said.

Border Patrol said it's aware of the incident.