SAN DIEGO — Immigration authorities will search a stretch of the sand near the Ocean Beach Pier early Friday after lifeguards spotted a small fishing boat on shore.

Authorities found the abandoned panga about 100 yards north of the pier around 5:40 a.m., a San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson told FOX 5 by email. Officials found 10 life vests and about 40 gallons of fuel but no sign of anyone who got off the boat.

Pangas, low-lying fishing boats with outboard motors, are frequently used by smugglers bringing people into the U.S. illegally.

“Border officials have been notified,” the fire department spokesperson said.

The city will try to safely remove the vessel from the sand later Friday morning.

Last month, border agents stopped 52 people who tried to enter the U.S. off the coast of San Diego in a single weekend. That included 31 people crowded onto one recreational boat, and a panga with 18 people on board.