press release - 06171301

Panga Boat, Tajiguas Beach

Another Panga Boat Found In Santa Barbara County

Tajiguas - June 17th, 2013

On June 17, 2013, at approximately 6:54 a.m., an off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy observed a possible “Panga” boat on the shoreline of Tajiguas Beach, north of Refugio State Beach.  Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies, along with Narcotics Investigators, responded and located a single-engine, approximately 25-foot “Panga” style boat on the beach.  Investigators found items of potential evidence inside and strewn about the surrounding beach, including numerous fuel containers, clothing and other miscellaneous trash type items.  Based upon the evidence found at the scene, investigators were unable to immediately determine if this boat was used to smuggle drugs, or if it was used to facilitate human trafficking.

Representatives from California State Parks, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene. Investigators removed the boat and debris left behind by the persons involved in this maritime smuggling crime.

This is the third “Panga” discovered in this general vicinity of Refugio State Beach in recent months.  The last one was found at nearby Arroyo Quemada  Beach on May 17th

The Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Bureau is working with HSI to investigate the increase of “Panga Boat” activity in our area.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to be aware of the ever-growing problem and to please contact Law Enforcement immediately to report suspicious boats in the ocean off Santa Barbara County or suspicious activity on Highway 101 where there is coastal/beach access.


For all Media Inquiries Please Contact:

PIO Kelly Hoover

Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

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