Overturned panga boat
Lifeguards examine the overturned panga boat. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Authorities Wednesday publicly identified a 39-year-old woman who died in the ocean off the coast of Imperial Beach along with another person last weekend after the crowded skiff she was in capsized during a possible human-smuggling run.

Julia Estebana Chan Canul, a resident of Mexico, was pronounced dead on the shoreline near the 1300 block of Cortez Avenue on Saturday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Witnesses reported seeing the small boat in the ocean with about 10 people aboard before it tipped over about 6 a.m., officials said.

A second passenger, believed to be a Mexican national in her mid-teens to mid-20s, also died. She remains unidentified, according to the county agency.

Both of the victims were presumed to have drowned, though cause-of-death rulings in the case remain pending.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock