A boat carrying 16 illegal immigrants was found Thursday in Newport Harbor, according to an official from the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol.
At about 5 p.m., deputies conducting a routine patrol of Newport Harbor noticed a boat that was unknown to the area and extremely low in the water, according to Sgt. John Whitman. Deputies contacted the boat and discovered 16 people who were hiding in the bilge area. Border Patrol Spokesman Jacopo Bruni said 11 men and five women were on the boat.
Whitman said all of the people were taken into custody, examined by paramedics and turned over to the Border Patrol.
Several residents reported seeing a helicopter hovering over the Balboa Island area around the time the incident was reported.
No other information was immediately released.