SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday kept up its five-day seagoing detention of more than 650 illegal Chinese immigrants aboard three ships. One immigrant woman suffering from abdominal pains was taken by Coast Guard helicopter for emergency surgery, officials said.
Doctors at UC San Diego Medical Center performed surgery of an unspecified nature on the 19-year-old woman, identified as Shiuyun Zhou, a passenger on the disabled freighter Sing Li 6, one of the three vessels. She was resting in good condition Sunday afternoon.
Tom Banaszak, nursing supervisor at the medical center, said the woman was not suffering from appendicitis, as the Coast Guard had stated earlier, but he would not detail the nature of her condition. "The Coast Guard was not in a position to diagnose what she had," Banaszak said.
Otherwise, the ordeal continued for 658 other illegal immigrants being held at sea on the crowded, rusty smuggling vessels.
Diplomats were negotiating a request by the United States that Mexico allow the Chinese ashore in Ensenada to be processed and repatriated by Mexican authorities at U.S. expense.