Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 10:29 am | Fair 55º


Local News

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >