Border Patrol arrests 15 people from panga spotted in La Jolla

Local

SAN DIEGO — Fifteen people were taken into custody from a small fishing boat that came ashore in La Jolla early Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol said.

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel first spotted the panga shortly before 4 a.m. near Windansea Beach, according to authorities. About 10 minutes later, the boat landed near Nautilus Street and the panga’s occupants — 13 men and two women — were taken into custody, officials said.

Pangas are low-lying fishing boats with outboard motors that are frequently used to sneak people or drugs into the country. The vessel could be seen overturned and bobbing in the water just off shore along with more than a dozen life vests, gas canisters and some other debris.

A Border Patrol spokesman said that of the 13 men, 12 were Mexican nationals and one was from Guatemala. One of the women was from El Salvador and the other was from Guatemala.

No injuries were reported among those taken into custody.

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