Officials find 13 people after panga washes up in Point Loma

by: Matt Meyer
Posted: May 18, 2020 / 07:59 AM PDT / Updated: May 18, 2020 / 09:07 AM PDT

A border agent observes from the bluffs in Point Loma, where a panga washed up on the beach Monday, prompting a major search effort.

SAN DIEGO — A panga carrying more than a dozen people arrived in rough waters near Point Loma Monday morning, prompting a major search by lifeguards, Border Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Thirteen people from the fishing boat had made it safely to shore by about 8 a.m., according to San Diego Fire-Rescue. Lifeguards and a Coast Guard vessel patrolled the water south of Point Loma Nazarene University to search for any other survivors.

Pangas are low-lying fishing boats with outboard motors that are frequently used to sneak people or drugs into the U.S. A Border Patrol spokesperson confirmed the boat was part of a “maritime smuggling incident,” and said further details would be available soon.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the 13 people had made it to the beach on their own, or if they had to be rescued.

Officials also did not initially say whether there were passengers still unaccounted for.

Check back for updates on this developing story.