Panga pops up north of San Simeon

November 27, 2014

pangaEnding 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.

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Well, did the Sheriff launch our new boat and tow the Panga in.

Does anyone in the Sheriffs department have the REQUIRED Master of towing license issued by the Coast Guard?

(I doubt this very much)

Heloooo! It’s illegal to operate a towing vessel over 26ft. without a master of towing license for non emergency reasons in the ocean.

If the boat is on the water it is the Coast Guard’s problem. If it is on the beach the Harbors and Navigation Code says it is the responsibility of the county sheriff. At least that is what a Coast Guard member told me when I took a tour of their station last year.

Driving up north to take sunrise pictures this morning (~5:25am), just as I was coming into San Simeon I noticed some cars parked on the west side of the highway with no lights on that didn’t look like they there. Just as I came up on them, I saw the yellow ‘Sheriff’ lettering on the back of the Explorer. At almost the same instant, they blasted my windshield (and face) with their spotlight. Like a deer in headlights, I was blinded for second and it startled the heck out of me.

Today I am thankful for cruise control.

Watching law enforcement of all types cruise the highway, the Coast Guard cutter in the ocean, and the helicopter in the sky; I was betting this story was going to pop up.

You most likely came upon them just as they finished depositing the panga on the beach as a follow up to parkinson’s interview.

Why tow the panga, auction it off right on the beach.

that would be the best thing to do.

Obama said the borders are secure….. yeah right.

Sounds like “Mission Accomplished” without the carrier picture – lest we forget!

If there wasn’t a huge demand on our side of the border, there wouldn’t be any Panga boats, drug carriers, smuggling nor cartels. Same goes for cheap labor. Lest we forget, overlook or willfully ignore cause and effect market reality.

what a red herring

Just an afterthought…isn’t the coast guard supposed to be handling this, there is no justification for the sheriff to dip into the till.

I don’t know enough to say for sure but it could be possible that the Coast Guard is stretched too thin to do the job completely. I also have my reservations about the cost effectiveness of having the Sheriff’s Dept. involved in off-shore law enforcement but they may have a plausible argument for doing so. The bigger question is whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs.

these are all good questions!

It would be a lot cheaper to just drive the boat to a nearby port. I wonder if the guy they just busted in Nipomo just came back with a boatload of roosters.