MALIBU, Calif. — A report of a boat beached on the Southern California coast led to discovery of 41 bales of marijuana during the weekend.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office says the report came in shortly before dawn Saturday and deputies found a 35-foot panga boat on the shore below Pacific Coast Highway between Malibu and Point Mugu.
In addition to 577 pounds (262 kilograms) of marijuana, investigators found 37 large containers filled with gasoline in the boat, floating in the water and on the beach.
Pangas are the vessel of choice for smuggling contraband up the coast from Mexico.
Navy Times editor’s note: Officials at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach told Navy Times in an email that watchstanders there received a report of the abandoned panga at about 6:20 a.m. Saturday.
They scrambled a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operated Base Mugu MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew to search for people in distress but located no stranded mariners or passengers.
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Santa Barbara arrived to haul the panga from the beach.
They were joined at the scene by members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s and Fire departments, U.S. Border Patrol and California State Park Lifeguards.