Panga boat raises human smuggling concerns

February 23, 2014

pangaSan Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies are looking into possible human smuggling after a panga boat was found Sunday morning on the beach across from the San Simeon Campground, according to a press release.

Deputies responded at about 7:15 a.m. to reports of the beached panga boat. Since May 2012, 11 panga boats have been confiscated in San Luis Obispo County, all but the latest were linked to drug trafficking.

Items left in and around the panga boat found Sunday suggest human smuggling and not drug trafficking.

“The preliminary investigation indicates the panga boat was transporting people. This is supported by items found in and around the boat,” said sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla. “This boat is slightly different from other panga boats that have been recovered because of the lack of storage space to transport narcotics.”

The investigation is ongoing.


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Our coast is very long, I hope we can do more to protect us from whatever is coming in on those boats! People or drugs! It is scary.

I am trying to figure out why is it so hard to watch our shores? Living on the water we see

a very mysterious bright light in the evening every night just about. This light is different

than a “bright fishing boat light”. It travels fast and moves from the Point of Oceano Beach

to Avila Pier. What is it? Does the Coast Guard even know about this, they have to see it. I

realize a panga boat is not going to have a bright light but someone is out there. Since we

know the general direction these boats come in at why can’t we put $600.00 cameras up at

certain points and monitor our coast. Do we have to go thru all theses different agencies to

approve this? It’s ridiculous how common sense has left the room. This is a joke. It’s not that hard to figure out. We have private property owners that cannot protect their own property

from the public trespassing on our own land. Instead of wasting time, money, and energy


on studies to make Pismo Beach a “fun” place why don’t we worry about the taxing paying

citizens who are funding these studies in keeping us safe from the waterside. Oh I can hear it now, the remark from the left that’s the price we pay for living on the water.

That’s the ‘Pismo Beehive’. It’s a UFO. Bright red, right ?

These aliens come from way further away than south of the border. Don’t think they peddle ganja, though.

Wonder what Ian and the lads on Kansas Ave. are gonna do with the money derived from the sale of all those boats.

Protecting the coastline is the duty of the county, state and Federal governments. They must being doing something right in Southern California if the smugglers have to travel this far north to land their cargo.

What is unsettling to me is the ease with which terrorist groups could enter the country carrying God knows what in the way of weapons. If thousands of pounds of marijuana or illegal aliens can make it here, why not a dirty bomb or someone infected with Smallpox waging Jihad..

Only if there were evidence that the panga boats were being used to smuggle guns or cigarettes would Brown or Obama take notice and do something about it.

Good luck getting the Federal government involved. The only response the Obama administration will have to human smuggling is to promise them free healthcare when they get here. But they probably won’t get to keep their doctor.

What no Benghazi? How bout the birth certificate?

Perhaps a death panel was in that panga , a foreign death panel?

Don’t worry the Federal government is involved, reading your mail, tracking your phone.

@SLO…. Holder would, he hates competition!

Dog gone it….now there smuggling Democrats!!!!!

No, THEY are just bringing back surplus redneck yeehaws after there was no market for them in other countries.

what the hell are the coast guard doing , ?should this not be their responsibility, I guess they don,t patrol on a routine basis , I know if you call them for a tow , they will try to get some other boaters in the area to do it rather than come out and get you , unless you are in danger , then they will be there ,

What is the Coast Guard doing…?

Practicing flipping there boats at the entrance to Morro Bay Harbor…is so much FUN..!

Securing our coast line is a federal responsibility–the Coast Guard and the military. Remember that Lois Capps met with all of these people to solve the problem; of course, that did no good whatsoever.

A local county should not be in the position of protecting the US coast from foreign invasion. Governor Brown should step in and get us the federal protection we need. Give him a ringy dingy or email him.

Bring this up at the SLO County Supervisors Meeting. They need to ask Brown for protection–Coast Guard patrols by air, radar, the National Guard, drones, whatever it takes. Then, Brown needs to act. He’s really our only hope.

If Gov. Brown is our only hope, then we are in real trouble. Plus he can’t help us he is too busy trying to push through his non-bullet train that is nothing close to what the voters approved years ago, and if put back to the voters for what is really is going to cost would fail by a masive amount.

It appears to me that if a terrorist organization wanted to enter this country undetected, this would be the way to do it. there appears to be no interest or way of effectively stopping these boats.

I feel so safe, knowing our coast line is so secure.

Or they could just fly in on commercial airliners while garbed in thobes , hijabs, or chadors. The ever vigilant TSA would be busy searching crippled children , Nuns, and old men wearing diapers while not wanting to profile certain groups.

I share your concern that we don’t have a secure coast, Pelican. Remember, local law enforcement only covers things that interest them, and they get paid whether they ignore a given illegal condition, or do something about it. They get paid, and their pension, no matter how they ignore whichever law-breaking does not interest them.

@Lame…. I think Ion would welcome the chance to expand his area of responsibility to include Guarding the Coast. Heck, he has a fleet of boats ready to be retro fitted to serve that purpose. But, Alas …. That is why we have an agency aptly named: Coast Guard,

Be careful what you wish for — the TSA was a response to the 9/11 terrorism and it does little if any good while conducting an assault upon a culture of individual rights. Personally, I am not too concerned about terrorism targeting the Central Coast with the possible exceptions of Vandenberg AFB and Diablo Canyon which I assume are better guarded.

Even if the threat is there, I would prefer it to the gradual infringement of individual liberties which is currently taking place in the name of (with no guarantee of) safety. Several of the founding fathers of the US made comments about this danger during the course of establishing our government. It is too bad that so few modern-day citizens see the danger — or over-estimate the dangers faced from the outside.