Abandoned Panga boat found off Refugio Beach in January 2012

Off-duty Sheriff’s deputies spotted an abandoned panga boat — a long, narrow, open fishing vessel often used to smuggle drugs or people from Mexico — off the coast just north of Refugio beach on Monday. Other similar boats, which typically range in length from 19 to 28 feet (although this one was 30), have been seen in the area recently. According to the Sheriff’s Department, there was evidence that the abandoned boat — capable of hauling 2,000 pounds of cargo — had been used to traffic drugs. The rear portion of the boat broke off as authorities towed it to shore, however, sending the entire rig 30-40 feet below the surface.


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