SAN DIEGO — A panga was spotted along the Pacific Beach shoreline early Friday as border officers were set to increase patrols over the holiday weekend.
A U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson said agents came across the abandoned panga at 1:05 a.m. north of the Pacific Beach pier. Agents searched the area but didn’t find anyone believed to be connected to the boat.
The small fishing vessels are commonly used for smuggling people into the United States with at least nine pangas washing up on local shores since May. Some recent incidents have been deadly, including two rescue operations tied to pangas that left four people dead.
Border Patrol says since Oct. 1, 2020, its San Diego sector has intervened in 330 maritime-related events and made 1,751 arrests associated with the events.
Friday’s sighting comes as Customs and Border Protection plans to ramp up patrols by land, sea and air this weekend. The agency said San Diegans will see an increase in law enforcement along the coast.
Anyone who sees smuggling-related activity is asked to call the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 800-854-9834 *1 to report it.