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Seven Mexican nationals caught attempting to enter U.S. illegally by boat

August 30, 2010 |  4:12 pm

Five women and two men -- all Mexican nationals -- were caught aboard an 18-foot Chris Craft Cavalier trying to enter the U.S. illegally, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday.

The incident, which occurred Sunday afternoon about three miles off San Diego's Point Loma, is just the latest in a trend of smugglers using boats instead of overland routes.

Since Oct.1, there have been 93 seizures of boats and 745 suspected illegal immigrants apprehended, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the 12 months before Oct. 1, there were 49 seizures and 400-plus people apprehended.

The seven apprehended Sunday ranged in age from 22 to 56. They were taken to a Border Patrol station for possible processing back to Mexico, unless they have outstanding warrants in the United States.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Boat seized with seven Mexican nationals aboard. Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection