Panga Beaches in Encinitas, USBP Looking for Passengers

The boat was first spotted by a lifeguard tower at around 4 p.m. at Beacons Beach

By Brenda Gregorio-Nieto
Published June 26, 2020 Updated on June 26, 2020 at 7:17 pm

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A panaga boat believed to be carrying 13 people washed ashore in Encinitas

A panga believed to be carrying close to a dozen people in a smuggling attempt washed onto an Encinitas beach in broad daylight Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

The boat was first spotted by a lifeguard tower at around 4 p.m. at Beacons Beach.

“This is unusual for broad daylight coming up on the beach,” said Encinitas Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles.

“They brought the boat and beached it right up, in very shallow waters. And then stepped out of the boat then fled off the beach on foot."

U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson Wendi Lee said there were 11 life vests left behind on the vessel. Personal items and gas tanks were also found.

"We understand why they’re doing it, but we also want them to understand the risks they are taking." Lee said.

"They’re exposing themselves to elements, in this case the ocean, and they’re exposing their lives in the hands of the smuggler who doesn’t care for them, and then other risks once they land on shore.”

No specific descriptions of the persons were available. Lee said Border Patrol was investigating whether Friday's incident was connected to a smuggling ring out of Ensenada led by a man known as "El Pantera."

No injuries were reported. No arrests have been made at this time.

No other information was available.

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