Panga pops up north of San Simeon
November 27, 2014
Ending a several month absence from San Luis Obispo County’s coastline, a panga boat has appeared on Thanksgiving. [KSBY]
The panga beached at a location north of San Simeon and south of Ragged Point, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies have been investigating reports of the boat since approximately 3 a.m.
The Thanksgiving panga is the first smuggling boat reported on the county coastline since July. It is the fourth of 2014, and the 14th since May 2012, according to CalCoastNews records.
Earlier this year, Sheriff Ian Parkinson successfully petitioned the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to allocate nearly $500,000 toward the purchase of a boat for towing pangas and equipment for detecting smuggling operations. The 27-foot Defender Class response boat cost $343,000, while the approximately $150,000 in additional funds went toward items like night-vision goggles and a thermal imaging camera.
Parkinson justified the boat purchase by saying it cost nearly $10,000 to tow one panga. However, U.S. Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials said they have never charged the county for assistance in towing pangas or investigating smuggling operations.