2 suspected smuggling boats found on beaches in San Diego

Panga found on beach in Ocean Beach; cabin cruiser found in La Jolla


SEP. 11, 2019 9:15 AM

Two suspected smuggling boats were found on San Diego beaches Wednesday morning, a panga in Ocean Beach and a second boat in La Jolla.

The panga was discovered at the foot of Santa Cruz Avenue around 5 a.m. No one was with the vessel but several gas cans were found on the boat, said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero.

“We took the gas cans off and set them on the cliffs so they wouldn’t spill in the water,” he said. “There were four gas cans.”

A second abandoned boat was found about 9 miles away along Coast Boulevard in La Jolla. That vessel, a 28-foot cabin cruiser which was found on Wipeout Beach south of the Children’s Pool, also appears to have been used for smuggling, Romero said.

Romero said the boat was starting to break apart in the water.

A spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said both boats were being looked at as suspected maritime smuggling incidents. He said either lifeguards or Air and Marine Operations agents would be removing the boats for public safety.

No arrests were made and no contraband was seized from the boats, he said.