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Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Deputies Find Abandoned Panga Boat North of Refugio State Beach

 

An abandoned drug smuggling boat washed up on the Santa Barbara County coast north of Refugio State Beach on Friday, according to authorities. 

Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies discovered the panga boat — which was about 30 feet long — around 12:30 p.m. along Arroyo Quemada Lane just north of Refugio State Beach, sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.

Five bales of marijuana were located in the bushes near the roadway, but investigators were not able to locate any suspects related to the panga, according to Hoover.

Investigators found two outboard boat motors and located one large container with approximately 90 gallons of fuel on board. 

Hoover said a citizen reported the suspected narcotic trafficking boat.

The county's Air Support Unit confirmed the boat was a panga, Hoover said, and sheriff's deputies responded to the scene along with personnel from the U.S. Coast GuardCalifornia State Parks and Homeland Security Investigations.

The U.S. Coast Guard removed the fuel from the boat and the HSI took possession of the vessel and will conduct the investigation, Hoover said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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