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VENTURA (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued 15 illegal immigrants stranded for three days on an island off Southern California.

One of the stranded immigrants called 911 on Friday night to say they were left on Santa Cruz Island and didn’t have food or water. The island is 19 miles off Ventura.

Petty Officer Adam Eggers tells the Ventura County Star it’s an unusual smuggling case because authorities aren’t usually contacted by the illegal immigrants themselves.

A Los Angeles-based Coast Guard cutter and helicopter was unable to find the group Friday. On Sunday, a boater reported seeing the stranded immigrants.

A Coast Guard cutter took them to Santa Barbara for processing by immigration officials.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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