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Woman dead, 13 captured as group tries to swim across U.S. border in San Diego

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A woman died and 13 other people were pulled from the Pacific Ocean after a large group attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by swimming around a barrier in San Diego, government officials said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Saturday that U.S. Border Patrol agents were notified just after 11:30 p.m. Friday of approximately 70 people trying to swim from Tijuana into the U.S. at Border Field State Park.

Responding agents found an unresponsive woman believed to be from the group and attempted CPR, officials said. She was declared dead at about 12:30 a.m. The woman was not immediately identified.

Border Patrol said agents took 36 adult Mexican nationals into custody, including 13 people who were pulled from the water by the U.S. Coast Guard. All were taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.

"This is yet another example of the ruthless tactics smuggling organizations use to bolster their power and profits," said San Diego Sector's Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. "We will work tirelessly to pursue and bring to justice those responsible for this tragedy." 

Multiple agencies continued to search the area, including the San Diego Fire Department and California State Parks. No injuries were reported by officials.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's office of professional responsibility was investigating.

In this file photo from August 12, 2012, a couple of people approach the wall on the Tijuana side of the Border Field State Park fence, which separates the cities of San Diego and Tijuana at the U.S.-Mexico border going 300 feet into the Pacific Ocean. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
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