An abandoned panga was found on the Gaviota Coast beach Friday with evidence of marijuana smuggling, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
A resident discovered the 35-foot boat on Arroyo Quemada Beach, north of Refugio State Beach, at 8:15 a.m., and responding deputies and narcotics officers found clothing and fuel containers near the boat, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.
Plastic packaging commonly used for marijuana smuggling was found near the boat and on a path leading to the roadway, she said.
Representatives from California State Parks, Homeland Security, the California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene, and the county’s Copter 1 searched the surrounding areas for suspects and evidence.
No arrests were made.
It’s the second panga discovered at that beach recently, with another found March 17 with more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana hidden in bushes nearby.
The Sheriff’s Department is working with Homeland Security to investigate the panga activity on the Central Coast, and is asking everyone to call authorities if they see any suspicious boats in the ocean off Santa Barbara County or suspicious activity on Highway 101 where there is coastal and beach access.