FACT CHECK: Did Navy SEALs Raid A Cargo Ship Full Of Smuggled Children?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook more than 500 times claims Navy SEALs raided a cargo ship full of smuggled children off the coast of Long Beach, California.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Navy SEALs raided a cargo ship full of smuggled children off the coast of California. The claim originates from a website that says it contains “humor, parody, and satire.”

Fact Check:

The post shows a picture of a cargo ship along with text that claims Navy SEALs on Nov. 2 raided a “Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier called the Morning Star, anchored off Long Beach, California, and rescued 200 foreign children who had been imprisoned in a decrepit cargo hold.” The post goes on to claim that the SEALs also found the bodies of 12 dead children on the ship and that the raid was based on a tip from “someone” at Mar-a-Lago, possibly former President Donald Trump.

There is, however, no evidence any of this occurred. Check Your Fact searched MarineTraffic’s vessel location database but found no record of any vessel called “Morning Star” being anchored off the coast of Long Beach, California. Check Your Fact also searched press releases from the Navy as well as the Department of Defense but likewise found nothing about such a raid taking place. The Port of Long Beach has not released any statements addressing a raid to that effect. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Has Anthony Fauci Been Arrested By Navy SEALs?)

Andrew DeGarmo, a spokesperson for the Navy Office of Information, told Check Your Fact in a phone interview that the claim is false.

An internet search reveals the claim originated with the satire website Real Raw News, which published an article on Nov. 2 that featured the same picture and text as the Facebook post. Real Raw News has a disclaimer on its website that states it contains “humor, parody, and satire.” However, there is no such disclaimer included in the Facebook post, which presents the claims as a factual report.

This is not the first time Check Your Fact has fact-checked a viral claim stemming from a Real Raw News article. In October, Check Your Fact debunked a viral claim that first appeared on Real Raw News that alleged former President Bill Clinton had been murdered.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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